uvu·​la | \ ˈyü-vyə-lə How to pronounce uvula (audio) \
plural uvulas or uvulae\ ˈyü-​vyə-​ˌlē How to pronounce uvula (audio) , -​ˌlī \

Definition of uvula

: the pendent fleshy lobe in the middle of the posterior border of the soft palate

Examples of uvula in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web His uvula, which hangs above the throat, was swollen and obstructing his breathing. Betty Lin-fisher, USA TODAY, "Racism in many forms can affect people's health. Here's how," 5 Nov. 2020 Jahi’s case, which drew national attention and launched a debate over how to define death, began in December 2013 when the 13-year-old underwent a routine surgery to remove her tonsils, adenoids and uvula. Alene Tchekmedyian, latimes.com, "Jahi McMath, girl at center of debate over brain death, dies, mother says," 29 June 2018 Jahi went into cardiac arrest while recovering from surgery to remove her tonsils, adenoids and uvula along with bony structures from her nose and throat and palate tissue. CBS News, "Jahi McMath taken out of Oakland hospital in private ambulance, now in custody of mom," 6 Jan. 2014 Elizabeth can look out at two cherry trees from her home on Gibson Island, a charming little uvula of land that hangs down into the western side of the Chesapeake Bay, not far from the Bay Bridge. John Kelly, Washington Post, "Here are the winning entries in the 2018 springtime in Washington haiku contest," 3 Apr. 2018

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

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First Known Use of uvula

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for uvula

Middle English, from Medieval Latin, diminutive of Latin uva cluster of grapes, uvula; probably akin to Greek oa service tree, Old English īw yew — more at yew

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Time Traveler for uvula

Time Traveler

The first known use of uvula was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Uvula.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/uvula. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for uvula


How to pronounce uvula (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of uvula

medical : a small, soft piece of flesh that hangs down from the back part of the roof of your mouth


uvu·​la | \ ˈyü-vyə-lə How to pronounce uvula (audio) \
plural uvulas\ -​ləz How to pronounce uvula (audio) \ or uvulae\ -​ˌlē How to pronounce uvula (audio) \

Medical Definition of uvula

1 : the pendent fleshy lobe in the middle of the posterior border of the soft palate
2 : a lobe of the inferior vermis of the cerebellum located in front of the pyramid

Other Words from uvula

uvular \ -​lər How to pronounce uvula (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on uvula

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about uvula

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