Definition of tonsil in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtɒns(ə)l/
Pronunciation: /ˈtɒnsɪl/


Either of two small masses of lymphoid tissue in the throat, one on each side of the root of the tongue.
Example sentences
  • Oral cancers occur in the mouth and the back of the throat, the tonsil, tongue, lip and voice box.
  • Sometimes surgery is needed to remove tonsils or extra tissue from the throat.
  • The major parts of the system are the bone marrow, spleen, thymus gland, lymph nodes, and the tonsils.



Pronunciation: /ˈtɒnsɪlə/
Example sentences
  • There was cerebral edema with slight uncal and cerebellar tonsillar prominence without frank herniation.
  • Clinically, the patient had an extensive ulcerating tonsillar tumour involving the right-sided soft palate, posterior buccal mucosa and posterior tongue base.
  • Obesity, tonsillar hypertrophy, neuromuscular disease, and a craniopharyngeal anomaly are risk factors present during wakefulness but do not invariably produce obstructive sleep apnea.


Late 16th century: from French tonsilles or Latin tonsillae (plural).

Words that rhyme with tonsil

consul, proconsul

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ton¦sil

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