pre·​max·​il·​la ˌprē-mak-ˈsi-lə How to pronounce premaxilla (audio)
: either of a pair of bones of the upper jaw of vertebrates between and in front of the maxillae
premaxillary adjective or noun

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web These more modern premaxilla, maxilla and dentary — collectively known as dermal marginal jaw bones — previously were seen only in bony fishes, or osteichthyans. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, 25 Sep. 2013 Especially remarkable is the animal’s premaxilla – the bone formed a kind of thick, bony wing which would have helped support a large mass of soft tissues in life. Brian Switek, WIRED, 2 Nov. 2010

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

Word History


New Latin

First Known Use

1850, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of premaxilla was in 1850

Dictionary Entries Near premaxilla

Cite this Entry

“Premaxilla.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.

Medical Definition


pre·​max·​il·​la ˌprē-mak-ˈsil-ə How to pronounce premaxilla (audio)
plural premaxillae -ē How to pronounce premaxilla (audio)
: either member of a pair of bones of the upper jaw of vertebrates situated between and in front of the maxillae that in humans form the median anterior part of the superior maxillary bones but in most other mammals are distinct and bear the incisor teeth and in birds coalesce to form the principal part of the upper mandible

called also incisive bone

More from Merriam-Webster on premaxilla

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?