na·​so·​phar·​ynx | \ ˌnā-zō-ˈfer-iŋ(k)s How to pronounce nasopharynx (audio) , -ˈfa-riŋ(k)s \

Definition of nasopharynx

: the upper part of the pharynx continuous with the nasal passages

Examples of nasopharynx in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The inside of the nose remains mysterious to many, and the nasopharynx— the area way in the back of the nose, up behind the roof of the mouth, is a nether region that few besides otolaryngologists (ear, nose, and throat specialists) approach. Nina Shapiro, Forbes, 31 Jan. 2022 Some speculate that the requirement for endosomal entry and the absence of cell-to-cell fusion may be part of replicating preferentially in the nasopharynx instead of the deep lung. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 28 Jan. 2022 At the back of this cavity — more or less in line with your earlobe — is your nasopharynx, where the back of your nose meets the top of your throat. New York Times, 18 Nov. 2021 The endpoint of efficacy of the vaccine is preventing clinically apparent disease, which means that you could get infected, have nasopharynx virus in your nose and in your mouth. CBS News, 28 Feb. 2021 There was a recent study from Israel to show that the level of virus in the nasopharynx of vaccinated people is extremely low. CBS News, 28 Feb. 2021 An analysis of viral samples from around the state showed that, compared with people infected with other strains of SARS-CoV-2, those who were infected with the California strain had viral loads in the nasopharynx that were twice as high. Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, 24 Feb. 2021 The gold standard for confirming an active COVID-19 infection is to take a swab from the nasopharynx and test it for the presence of viral RNA. Kaiser Health News, The Denver Post, 28 May 2020 The swab is in the nasopharynx for only a few seconds but can be very uncomfortable to patients. Miriam Fauzia, USA TODAY, 9 July 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of nasopharynx

1877, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nasopharynx

New Latin

Learn More About nasopharynx

Time Traveler for nasopharynx

Time Traveler

The first known use of nasopharynx was in 1877

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near nasopharynx




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for nasopharynx

Cite this Entry

“Nasopharynx.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Oct. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for nasopharynx


na·​so·​phar·​ynx | \ -ˈfar-iŋ(k)s How to pronounce nasopharynx (audio) \
plural nasopharynges\ -​fə-​ˈrin-​(ˌ)jēz How to pronounce nasopharynx (audio) \ also nasopharynxes

Medical Definition of nasopharynx

: the upper part of the pharynx continuous with the nasal passages — compare laryngopharynx

More from Merriam-Webster on nasopharynx Encyclopedia article about nasopharynx


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!