pha·​ryn·​geal | \ ˌfer-ən-ˈjē-əl How to pronounce pharyngeal (audio) , fa-rən-; fə-ˈrin-j(ē-)əl How to pronounce pharyngeal (audio) \

Definition of pharyngeal

: relating to or located or produced in the region of the pharynx

Examples of pharyngeal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Oral jaws are used to capture prey, while pharyngeal jaws located in the back of the mouth are used to chew and swallow. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 17 Nov. 2021 Their oral jaws are used to capture and crush prey while their pharyngeal jaws, which are positioned in their throats, are used to chew their food and move it from their mouths to the stomach. New York Times, 3 Nov. 2021 So over the course of evolution, the larynx in the human line has moved lower in our throats, opening up a much larger pharyngeal cavity than found in other primates. Louis-jean Boë, The Conversation, 11 Dec. 2019 The creature only appears an hour into the film, first glimpsed as saliva-like goo and then as pharyngeal jaws that shoot out from its mouth. J.b., The Economist, 5 Sep. 2019 Most fish use a second set of jaws in their throats—the pharyngeal jaws—to crush and grind their prey. National Geographic, 13 Sep. 2016

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

First Known Use of pharyngeal

1754, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pharyngeal

New Latin pharyngeus "of the pharynx" (from Medieval Latin pharyng-, pharynx pharynx + Latin -eus -eous) + -al entry 1

Learn More About pharyngeal

Time Traveler for pharyngeal

Time Traveler

The first known use of pharyngeal was in 1754

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near pharyngeal



pharyngeal basket

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for pharyngeal

Cite this Entry

“Pharyngeal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2022.

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

More Definitions for pharyngeal


pha·​ryn·​geal | \ ˌfar-ən-ˈjē-əl How to pronounce pharyngeal (audio) , fə-ˈrin-j(ē-)əl How to pronounce pharyngeal (audio) \

Medical Definition of pharyngeal

1 : relating to or located in the region of the pharynx
2a : innervating the pharynx especially by contributing to the formation of the pharyngeal plexus the pharyngeal branch of the vagus nerve
b : supplying or draining the pharynx the pharyngeal branch of the maxillary artery


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
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!