tonsillectomy

noun

ton·​sil·​lec·​to·​my ˌtän(t)-sə-ˈlek-tə-mē How to pronounce tonsillectomy (audio)
plural tonsillectomies
: the surgical removal of the tonsils

Did you know?

The tonsils are the areas of tissue that you can see in the mirror on both sides of your throat (not to be confused with the uvula, which hangs down in the middle). Tonsillectomy, the most common surgery performed on children in the U.S., is intended to relieve tonsillitis, or inflammation of the tonsils (usually by strep or staph bacteria). But the fact is, tonsillitis can often be successfully treated with antibiotics, which means that surgery, including the week or two of pain and discomfort that follows it, is generally unnecessary.

Example Sentences

The surgeon performed a tonsillectomy.
Recent Examples on the Web The tonsillectomy, once common, is generally an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia. Ana Vanessa Herrero, Washington Post, 23 June 2022 At twelve, despite a difficult tonsillectomy and her parents’ divorce, she was warmly housed, lovingly tended, doted on by grandparents and adored by older cousins. Joshua Ferris, The New Yorker, 30 May 2022 Shortly after, Alston died of complications from a tonsillectomy surgery during college. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, USA TODAY, 28 Feb. 2021 Another challenge struck when Martinez had to have a tonsillectomy and couldn’t stay in the shelter during her recovery. Gary Warth, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Aug. 2020 The city Board of Health moved to close schools, parks, swimming pools and dance halls — in some cases, only to people under 21 — prohibited the sale of unpasteurized milk and discouraged tonsillectomies at this time. Paula Allen, ExpressNews.com, 9 May 2020 Freestone said since then, more than 200 surgeries have been performed, including tonsillectomies, hernia repair and bronchoscopies. Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Pomerado News, 19 July 2019 So Glover urged an end to widespread tonsillectomies, which, given the rate of surgical infections at the time, spared English teenagers a lot of suffering. The Economist, 28 June 2018 The report, in JAMA Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery, compared 60,667 Danish children under 9 who had tonsillectomies, adenoidectomies or both with 1.1 million who had not had the surgeries. Nicholas Bakalar, New York Times, 7 June 2018 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1899, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tonsillectomy was in 1899

Dictionary Entries Near tonsillectomy

Cite this Entry

“Tonsillectomy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tonsillectomy. Accessed 26 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

tonsillectomy

noun

ton·​sil·​lec·​to·​my ˌtän(t)-sə-ˈlek-tə-mē How to pronounce tonsillectomy (audio)
plural tonsillectomies
: the surgical removal of the tonsils

Medical Definition

tonsillectomy

noun

ton·​sil·​lec·​to·​my ˌtän(t)-sə-ˈlek-tə-mē How to pronounce tonsillectomy (audio)
plural tonsillectomies
: surgical excision of the tonsils

More from Merriam-Webster on tonsillectomy

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ