maxilla

noun
max·​il·​la | \mak-ˈsi-lə \
plural maxillae\-​ˈsi-​(ˌ)lē, -​ˌlī \ or maxillas

Definition of maxilla 

1a : jaw sense 1a

b(1) : an upper jaw especially of humans and other mammals in which the bony elements are closely fused

(2) : either of the two bones that lie with one on each side of the upper jaw lateral to the premaxilla and that in higher vertebrates bear most of the teeth

2 : one of the first or second pair of mouthparts posterior to the mandibles in many arthropods (such as insects or crustaceans)

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Other Words from maxilla

maxillary \ˈmak-​sə-​ˌler-​ē, chiefly British mak-​ˈsi-​lə-​rē \ adjective or noun

Examples of maxilla in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Using high resolution micro-CT scanning, Dr. Weber created a 3D replica of the upper left maxilla that allowed him to investigate its surface features and, virtually, to remove enamel from the teeth. Nicholas St. Fleur, New York Times, "In Cave in Israel, Scientists Find Jawbone Fossil From Oldest Modern Human Out of Africa," 25 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'maxilla.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of maxilla

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for maxilla

Latin, diminutive of mala jaw

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Time Traveler for maxilla

The first known use of maxilla was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for maxilla

maxilla

noun
max·​il·​la | \mak-ˈsi-lə \
plural maxillae\-​lē \

Kids Definition of maxilla

1 : an upper jaw especially of a mammal

2 : either of the pair of mouth parts next behind the mandibles of an arthropod (as an insect or a crustacean)

maxilla

noun
max·​il·​la | \mak-ˈsil-ə \
plural maxillae\-​ˈsil-​(ˌ)ē, -​ˌī \ or maxillas

Medical Definition of maxilla 

2a : an upper jaw especially of humans or other mammals in which the bony elements are closely fused

b : either of two membrane bone elements of the upper jaw that lie lateral to the premaxillae and that in higher vertebrates including humans bear most of the teeth

3 : one of the first or second pair of mouthparts posterior to the mandibles in insects, myriopods, crustaceans and closely related arthropods

More from Merriam-Webster on maxilla

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about maxilla

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