Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The thin elastic cartilaginous structure located at the root of the tongue that folds over the glottis to prevent food and liquid from entering the trachea during the act of swallowing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A cartilaginous organ in the throat of terrestrial vertebrates covering the glottis when swallowing to prevent food and liquid from entering the trachea, and in Homo sapiens also a speech organ.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A cartilaginous lidlike appendage which closes the glottis while food or drink is passing while food or drink is passing through the pharynx.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A valve-like organ which helps to prevent the entrance of food and drink into the larynx during deglutition.
  • n. In Polyzoa, same as epistoma.
  • n. In entomology, same as epipharynæ.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a flap of cartilage that covers the windpipe while swallowing

Etymologies

Greek epiglōttis : epi-, epi- + glōttis, glottis; see glottis.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
from New Latin, from Greek "epi-" on + "glottis" (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Moreover, just in front of it there is a fold of mucous membrane called the epiglottis, which is in reality a tiny trapdoor closing over the opening when necessity requires.

    Our Bird Comrades

  • The epiglottis, which is located at the back of the throat, is a thin, elastic piece of cartilage that covers the trachea during swallowing.

    The Panic Virus

  • The epiglottis is a small leaf shaped membrane situated immediately behind the root of the tongue and covers the larynx during swallowing.

    The Respiratory System: Anatomy 101

  • In betwixt the two openings comes the so-called epiglottis, an organ capable of being drawn over and covering the orifice of the windpipe communicating with the mouth; the end of the tongue is attached to the epiglottis.

    The History of Animals

  • This is the epiglottis, which is much like a box lid that swings over the opening between the throat and the voice box.

    How to Speak Dog

  • Symington found that in infants between six and twelve months of age the tip of the epiglottis was a little above the level of the fibrocartilage between the odontoid process and body of the axis, and that between infancy and adult life the larynx descends for a distance equal to two vertebral bodies and two intervertebral fibrocartilages.

    XI. Splanchnology. 1a. The Larynx

  • In front of the epiglottis are the median and lateral glosso-epiglottic folds passing forwards to the base of the tongue, and enclosing the two valleculæ.

    Manual of Surgery Volume Second: Extremities—Head—Neck. Sixth Edition.

  • Extending backwards and downwards from the lateral margins of the epiglottis are the two ary-epiglottic folds which reach the arytenoid cartilages posteriorly.

    Manual of Surgery Volume Second: Extremities—Head—Neck. Sixth Edition.

  • The epiglottis is the valve which closes over the upper opening of the larynx.

    Resonance in Singing and Speaking

  • Then a flap of tissue called the epiglottis momentarily covers the air pathway and prevents water or food from entering.

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