Definition of palatal in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpalədl/


1Relating to the palate: a palatal lesion
More example sentences
  • The lesion was distal and palatal to the maxillary left second molar, which was vital.
  • Infectious mononucleosis should be suspected and a diagnostic evaluation obtained in febrile patients who have sore throat plus splenomegaly, palatal petechiae, or posterior, axillary, or inguinal adenopathy.
  • Lesions may also affect the palate, pharynx, and larynx, causing palatal dysfunction, dysphagia, dysphonia, and aspiration.
1.1 Phonetics (Of a speech sound) made by placing the blade of the tongue against or near the hard palate (e.g., y in yes).
Example sentences
  • Modern Portuguese is characterized by an abundance of sibilant and palatal consonants and a broad spectrum of vowel sounds.
  • His spelling of tree and leg shows that the Proto-Athabaskan velars had not yet become palatal affricates, as they soon thereafter did.
  • In the International Phonetic Alphabet, < c > represents a voiceless palatal stop, < q > a voiceless uvular stop.


A palatal sound.
Example sentences
  • The problem with this is that these languages display palatals in the vicinity of both front and back vowels, and even before other consonants.
  • Serbian has a fairly extensive set of palatals and three sets of affricates.



Example sentences
  • Here, he fed me a physically light but palatally super-heavy duck liver and foie gras tartine, roasted quail with deep-fried quails' eggs, and a brilliant wood pigeon on parsnip risotto.
  • The palatally displaced canine anomaly is a tooth malposition occurring in 1% to 3% of most populations.
  • We demonstrated that, during the palatally induced jaw-closing reflex, the tongue extended at jaw closure.


Early 18th century: from French, from Latin palatum (see palate).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pal·a·tal

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