Definitions

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

  • n. A small oral mass of lymphoid tissue, especially either of two such masses embedded in the lateral walls of the opening between the mouth and the pharynx, of uncertain function, but believed to help protect the body from respiratory infections.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Either of a pair of small masses of lymphoid tissue that lie on each side of the throat and that help protect the body against infection; palatine tonsil.
  • n. Any of various small masses of lymphoid tissues, including palatine tonsils, adenoids and lingual tonsils.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of the two glandular organs situated in the throat at the sides of the fauces. The tonsils are sometimes called the almonds, from their shape.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One of two prominent oval bodies situated in the recesses formed, one on each side of the fauces, between the anterior and posterior palatine arches.
  • n. One of a pair of small superficial lobes of the cerebellum; the cerebellar amygdala. Also tonsilla in both senses.

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

  • n. either of two masses of lymphatic tissue one on each side of the oral pharynx

Etymologies

From Latin tōnsillae, tonsils, diminutive of tōlēs, swollen tonsils.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin tonsilla, compare French tonsille. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • No longer; first base is today deep kissing, also known as tonsil hockey.

    The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time

  • And indeed, as Dr. Mackenzie freely remarks: "Of far graver, far-reaching and deeper significance are cases of infection in which life has doubtless been sacrificed by clinging to the lazy and stupefying delusion that the tonsil is the sole portal of poisoning."

    Valere Aude Dare to Be Healthy, Or, The Light of Physical Regeneration

  • Between the plica triangularis and the surface of the tonsil is a space known as the tonsillar sinus; in many cases, however, this sinus is obliterated by its walls becoming adherent.

    XI. Splanchnology. 2b. The Fauces

  • —The arteries supplying the tonsil are the dorsalis linguæ from the lingual, the ascending palatine and tonsillar from the external maxillary, the ascending pharyngeal from the external carotid, the descending palatine branch of the internal maxillary, and a twig from the small meningeal.

    XI. Splanchnology. 2b. The Fauces

  • Tonsilloliths, also known as tonsil stones, are irregularly shaped, whitish/yellow, foul-smelling globs of mucus and bacteria that get caught in the back of the throat.

    Yahoo! Answers: Latest Questions

  • This new method, which is based on citraconic acid, has not been previously used in brain tissue although it has been employed in various other tissues such as tonsil, ovary, skin, lymph node, stomach, breast, colon, lung and thymus.

    PLoS ONE Alerts: New Articles

  • This new method, which is based on the use of citraconic acid, has not been previously utilized in brain tissue although it has been employed in various other tissues such as tonsil, ovary, skin, lymph node, stomach, breast, colon, lung and thymus.

    PLoS ONE Alerts: New Articles

  • Smith, a fifth-round pick by the Ravens in 2007, was considered the frontrunner for the starting job in 2008 until he came down with a tonsil infection that sidelined him for seven weeks.

    Troy Smith gets his chance to start at quarterback for 49ers against Broncos

  • As of September 9th 2008, Fravia had stopped updating his site and holding conferences after being diagnosed and receiving treatment for a Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the tonsil, that metastasized [2].

    Fravia’s swan-song

  • Thousands of patients awaiting procedures such as gall bladder surgery, tonsil removal or hernia treatment will be affected.

    NHS reforms one year on: patients and staff deal with 'cuts and chaos'

Comments

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  • Oy! Oy! A tonsil is not a yo-yo!

    October 18, 2008