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epiglottis Syllabification: ep·i·glot·tis
Pronunciation: /ˌepəˈɡlädəs/

Definition of epiglottis in English:


A flap of cartilage at the root of the tongue, which is depressed during swallowing to cover the opening of the windpipe.
Example sentences
  • It is particularly important to understand the relationship of the following structures: the epiglottis, arytenoid cartilage, aryepiglottic folds, and cricoid cartilage.
  • The opening for air through the larynx is known as the glottis, and the epiglottis, below and behind the tongue, plays a necessary part in closing off the glottis during swallowing.
  • In some cases, such as when the swollen epiglottis blocks the windpipe, a tracheostomy may be performed.


Pronunciation: /-ˈɡlätl/
Example sentences
  • It can range from an alarming level of spluttering and gagging - threatening epiglottal emergencies, and once a spray of half-imbibed champagne all over my evening finery - to a genuine interest in the dynamics of such a family.
Pronunciation: /ˌepəˈɡlädik/
Example sentences
  • There are three single cartilages (ie, thyroid, epiglottic, cricoid) and three paired cartilages (ie, arytenoid, cuneiform, corniculate).
  • The epiglottic cartilage may be rudimentary, with duplication of the mucosa substituting for cartilage.
  • The usual response to laryngeal obstruction usually caused by epiglottic or pharyngeal swelling is to sit up and forward.


Late Middle English: from Greek epiglōttis, from epi 'upon, near to' + glōtta 'tongue'.

Words that rhyme with epiglottis

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