ton·​sil | \ ˈtän(t)-səl How to pronounce tonsil (audio) \

Definition of tonsil

1 : either of a pair of prominent masses of lymphoid tissue that lie one on each side of the throat between two folds of soft tissue that bound the fauces
2 : any of various masses of lymphoid tissue (such as the adenoids) that are similar to tonsils

Other Words from tonsil

tonsillar \ ˈtän(t)-​s(ə-​)lər How to pronounce tonsil (audio) \ adjective

Examples of tonsil in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Williams, who was expected to be Turner’s prime competition in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, was hospitalized for the three nights prior to the meet after his right tonsil swelled up and hampered his breathing. Buddy Collings, Orlando Sentinel, 8 May 2022 On Tuesday, the guitarist and founding member of Oasis announced that he was diagnosed with tonsil cancer and will have to skip some upcoming shows with Liam Gallagher. Tomás Mier, Rolling Stone, 26 Apr. 2022 Sophomore forward Grant Stec made his season debut Wednesday after recovering from the football season and tonsil surgery. Paul Johnson,, 6 Jan. 2022 An Australian woman has gone viral on TikTok after waking up from tonsil surgery with an Irish accent—even though she's never been to the country. Korin Miller,, 12 May 2021 One case of tonsil diphtheria and of case of laryngeal diphtheria were reported., 1 Dec. 2020 Displays cover everything from early medical instruments (forceps, tongue depressors and tonsillotomes, also called tonsil guillotines) to MRI coils. Washington Post, 9 Oct. 2019 On Wednesday, Texas’ rules on elective procedures were loosened, and Gottlieb has started rescheduling sinus surgeries, tonsil removals and the insertion of ear tubes -- interventions generally aimed at stopping chronic infections. Mitchell Schnurman, Dallas News, 24 Apr. 2020 To make matters worse, Dominic is waiting for surgery to remove his tonsils and adenoids. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 15 Apr. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of tonsil

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tonsil

Latin tonsillae, plural, tonsils

Learn More About tonsil

Dictionary Entries Near tonsil

tonqua bean



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Statistics for tonsil

Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tonsil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for tonsil


ton·​sil | \ ˈtän-səl How to pronounce tonsil (audio) \

Kids Definition of tonsil

: either of a pair of masses of spongy tissue at the back of the mouth


ton·​sil | \ ˈtän(t)-səl How to pronounce tonsil (audio) \

Medical Definition of tonsil

1a : either of a pair of prominent masses of lymphoid tissue that lie one on each side of the throat between the anterior and posterior pillars of the fauces and are composed of lymph follicles grouped around one or more deep crypts and except for the exposed surface which is covered only by epithelium are surrounded by diffuse lymphoid tissue in a fibrous capsule

called also palatine tonsil

2 : a rounded prominence situated medially on the lower surface of each lateral hemisphere of the cerebellum

More from Merriam-Webster on tonsil

Nglish: Translation of tonsil for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tonsil for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about tonsil


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