Definition of maxilla in English:

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Pronunciation: /makˈsɪlə/

noun (plural maxillae /makˈsɪliː/)

Anatomy & Zoology
1The jaw or jawbone, specifically the upper jaw in most vertebrates. In humans it also forms part of the nose and eye socket.
Example sentences
  • There are five large teeth on the maxillae (upper jaw bone), rather short canines, and at least twenty small and uniform post-canines.
  • Anteriorly, the ventral margin of the maxilla curves dorsally.
  • Two major bones of the upper jaw, the maxilla, and the premaxilla, were previously firmly attached to the skull and had teeth.
1.1(In many arthropods) each of a pair of mouthparts used in chewing.
Example sentences
  • First, Protohadros has a very large pair of maxillae.
  • Behind the mandibles, Mandibulata bear one, or more typically, two pairs of maxillae, frequently with a long palp, as in the second maxilla of Macrocyclops.
  • The mouthparts consist of a pair of mandibles and 2 pairs of maxillae.


Late Middle English: from Latin, 'jaw'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: max|illa

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