Definition of pharyngeal in English:


Syllabification: pha·ryn·ge·al
Pronunciation: /fəˈrinj(ē)əl, ˌfarinˈjēəl


  • 1Of or relating to the pharynx.
    More example sentences
    • The hypoglossal and glossopharyngeal nerves innervate pharyngeal dilator muscles.
    • The levator veli palatini muscle, which elevates the soft palate, is innervated by a pharyngeal branch of the vagus nerve.
    • Its fibers pass dorsally from an extensive anterior attachment to insert on the pharyngeal raphe, the pharyngeal tubercle of the occipital bone.
  • 1.1 Phonetics (Of a speech sound) produced by articulating the root of the tongue with the pharynx, a feature of certain consonants in Arabic, for example.
    More example sentences
    • Modern phoneticians would more precisely categorize such consonants into velar, uvular, pharyngeal, and glottal articulations.
    • From the lips back to the larynx, the IPA names 11 places of articulation: bilabial labiodental dental alveolar postalveolar retroflex palatal velar uvular pharyngeal glottal


Phonetics Back to top  
  • A pharyngeal consonant.
    More example sentences
    • It has a series of ejectives, voiced stops that are truly voiced even in word-initial position, phonemic glottal stop, and several fricatives absent from English, including a pair of pharyngeals.
    • We also find that the pharyngeals involve an even longer articulatory sequence than glottalized consonants.
    • Cuneiform was in many ways unsuited to Akkadian: among its flaws was its inability to represent important phonemes in Semitic, including a glottal stop, pharyngeals, and emphatic consonants.


early 19th century: from modern Latin pharyngeus (from Greek pharunx, pharung- 'throat') + -al.

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Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody