tonsillar, tonsilar, tonsillary /ton"seuh ler'ee/, adj.
/ton"seuhl/, n. Anat.
a prominent oval mass of lymphoid tissue on each side of the throat.
[1595-1605; < L tonsillae (pl.) the tonsils]

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Small mass of lymphoid tissue in the wall of the pharynx.

The term usually refers to the palatine tonsils on each side of the oropharynx. They are thought to produce antibodies to help prevent respiratory and digestive tract infection but often become infected themselves (see tonsillitis), mostly in children. There are also pharyngeal tonsils, better known as adenoids, and lingual tonsils, at the base of the tongue. The last have more effective drainage than the others and are rarely infected.

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 small mass of lymphatic tissue located in the wall of the pharynx at the rear of the throat of man and other mammals. In man the term is used to designate any of three sets of tonsils, most commonly the palatine tonsils. These are a pair of oval-shaped masses protruding from each side of the oral pharynx behind the mouth cavity. The exposed surface of each tonsil is marked by numerous pits that lead to deeper lymphatic tissue. Debris frequently lodges in the pits and causes inflammation, a condition called tonsillitis. The function of the palatine tonsils is thought to be associated with preventing infection in the respiratory and digestive tracts by producing antibodies that help kill infective agents. Frequently, however, the tonsils themselves become the objects of infection, and surgical removal (tonsillectomy) is required. Usually, children are more prone to tonsillitis than adults, for the structures tend to degenerate and decrease in size as one gets older.

      Another major tonsillar pair is the pharyngeal tonsils, more commonly known as adenoids. These are diffuse masses of lymphatic tissue located on the top wall of the nasal pharynx. Enlargement of these tonsils may obstruct breathing through the nose, interfere with sinus drainage, and lead to sinus and middle ear infections. When the nasal respiratory passage is blocked, mouth breathing becomes necessary. Continued mouth breathing puts stress on the developing facial bones in children and may cause facial deformities. Surgical removal, often in conjunction with a tonsillectomy, is frequently recommended in children. The adenoids tend to decrease in size during adulthood.

      The third pair of tonsils are the lingual tonsils, aggregations of lymphatic tissue on the surface tissue at the base of the tongue. The surface of this tonsil has pits leading to lower lymphatic tissue as in the other two tonsil types, but these pits are effectively drained by small glands (mucous glands), and infection is rare.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • tonsil — v. tonsilă. Trimis de LauraGellner, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DN …   Dicționar Român

  • tonsil — (n.) c.1600, from L. tonsillae (plural) tonsils, dim. of toles goiter, which is perhaps of Gaulish origin …   Etymology dictionary

  • tonsil — The derivative forms are tonsillectomy, tonsillitis, and tonsillotomy, all with two ls …   Modern English usage

  • tonsil — ► NOUN ▪ either of two small masses of tissue in the throat, one on each side of the root of the tongue. ORIGIN from Latin tonsillae (plural) …   English terms dictionary

  • tonsil — [tän′səl] n. [L tonsillae, pl., dim. of tōlēs (< * tonsles), goiter] either of a pair of oval masses of lymphoid tissue, one on each side of the throat at the back of the mouth tonsillar adj …   English World dictionary

  • Tonsil — For the structure in the cerebellum, see cerebellar tonsil. The tonsils are areas of lymphoid tissue on either side of the throat. An infection of the tonsils is called tonsillitis. Most commonly, the term tonsils refers to the palatine tonsils… …   Wikipedia

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  • tonsil — UK [ˈtɒns(ə)l] / US [ˈtɑns(ə)l] noun [countable] Word forms tonsil : singular tonsil plural tonsils one of the two small pieces of flesh on each side of your throat at the back of your mouth …   English dictionary

  • tonsil — noun /ˈtɒn.səl,ˈtɑn.səl/ a) Either of a pair of small masses of lymphoid tissue that lie on each side of the throat and that help protect the body against infection; palatine tonsil. b) Any of various small masses of lymphoid tissues, including… …   Wiktionary

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