oro·​phar·​ynx ˌȯr-ə-ˈfer-iŋ(k)s How to pronounce oropharynx (audio)
: the part of the pharynx that is below the soft palate and above the epiglottis and is continuous with the mouth

Examples of oropharynx in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Weight gain can result in excessive tissue in the oropharynx that causes snoring. Alyssa Jung, Good Housekeeping, 31 July 2023 Mehanna attributed the spike to a rise in a type of throat cancer called oropharyngeal cancer, which affects the tonsils and other structures in the back of the throat that make up the oropharynx. Korin Miller, Health, 8 June 2023 During swallowing, cineradiography shows that the eyes and associated musculature retract well into the oropharynx and appear to make contact with the prey item. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 3 Feb. 2015 All of the seven leeches were removed smoothly and one leech migrated to the oropharynx during the operation. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 13 Mar. 2015 During drowning, water is aspirated into the posterior oropharynx (throat) and down to the larynx (vocal cords). Dr. Michael Daignault, USA TODAY, 14 July 2022 Virus particles are most concentrated in the oropharynx located at the back of a person’s throat, which can be difficult to reach with an ordinary nasal swab. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, 9 Jan. 2022 He soon was diagnosed with cancer of the oropharynx, near the back of his throat. Shelley A. Sackett, sun-sentinel.com, 26 Nov. 2019 One of those types, HPV-16, is identified in more than half of cancers in the oropharynx, according to the National Cancer Institute. The Washington Post, The Denver Post, 2 Apr. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'oropharynx.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1887, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of oropharynx was in 1887

Dictionary Entries Near oropharynx

Cite this Entry

“Oropharynx.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oropharynx. Accessed 19 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


oro·​phar·​ynx -ˈfar-iŋ(k)s How to pronounce oropharynx (audio)
plural oropharynges -fə-ˈrin-(ˌ)jēz How to pronounce oropharynx (audio) also oropharynxes
: the part of the pharynx that is below the soft palate and above the epiglottis and is continuous with the mouth
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