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

  • adj. Of or relating to the hyoid bone.
  • n. The hyoid bone.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Shaped like a U, or like the letter upsilon; specifically, designating a bone or group of bones supporting the tongue.
  • n. The hyoid bone.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having the form of an arch, or of the Greek letter upsilon [Υ].
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the bony or cartilaginous arch which supports the tongue. Sometimes applied to the tongue itself.
  • n. The hyoid bone.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having the form of the Greek letter upsilon, υ.
  • n. The tongue-bone or os linguæ); the hyoidean bone or collection of bones: so called from its shape in man.

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

  • adj. of or relating to the hyoid bone
  • n. a U-shaped bone at the base of the tongue that supports the tongue muscles


New Latin hȳoīdēs, the hyoid bone, from Greek hūoeidēs, shaped like the letter upsilon : , upsilon + -oeidēs, -oid.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French hyoïde, from modern Latin hyoides, from Ancient Greek ὑοειδής (huoeidēs, "shaped like the letter υ"). (Wiktionary)


  • Under the lower jaw is a little horseshoe shaped bone called the hyoid bone, because it is shaped like the Greek letter upsilon (Υ).

    A Practical Physiology

  • A small bone in the neck of the skeletal remains recovered in the Chandra Levy investigation had been broken, but a Smithsonian expert who examined the bone, known as the hyoid, testified Tuesday afternoon that it was impossible to say how the fracture occurred.

    Levy's remains shown to jurors

  • Finally, a tendon-like filament called the hyoid encompasses the woodpecker's skull and helps dissipate vibration, while also supporting the tongue and throat.

    Week in Ideas

  • One bone that's very strong and very difficult to find in remains is called the hyoid bone, which, if broken, would indicate strangulation.

    CNN Transcript May 24, 2002

  • The first of these is called the hyoid arch (c.h.), and the four following this, the first (br. 1), second, third, and fourth

    Text Book of Biology, Part 1: Vertebrata

  • The hyoid arch becomes attached, to the otic capsule, and its median ventral plate, including also the vestiges of the first, second, and fourth branchial arches, is called the hyoid apparatus.

    Text Book of Biology, Part 1: Vertebrata

  • The labium was the equivalent of the hyoid, the labial palps and maxillipedes the equivalent of the "hyoid" elements which form the branchial arches.

    Form and Function A Contribution to the History of Animal Morphology

  • Hunt testified that the hyoid bone, found in the neck, had been broken.

    Prison pen pal testified of Guandique's dead girl' letters

  • Prosecutors have been unable in recent weeks to locate the hyoid bone among the evidence collected in the case, and that has led defense attorneys to try to limit the scope of questioning about the bone.

    Levy's remains shown to jurors

  • Hunt said that when the hyoid does break during strangulation, the victim is typically older than Levy, who was 24 when she disappeared in May 2001.

    Levy's remains shown to jurors


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "...These bones, which support the tongue, all have cut marks, apparently inflicted by humans who feasted on the mammoth tongues. But why only the hyoid bones?"
    —Richard Stone, Mammoth: The Resurrection of an Ice Age Giant, (Cambridge, Mass.: Perseus Publishing, 2001), 7

    September 20, 2008

  • "...yet this is no more a source of confusion for the seaman than the ruminant's multiplicity of stomachs for the anatomist, or the howler's anomalous hyoid."
    --Patrick O'Brian, The Far Side of the World, 215

    February 23, 2008