|1.||Also called: palatine tonsil either of two small masses of lymphatic tissue situated one on each side of the back of the mouthRelated: amygdaline|
|2.||anatomy any small rounded mass of tissue, esp lymphatic tissue|
|[C17: from Latin tōnsillae (pl) tonsils, of uncertain origin]|
tonsil ton·sil (tŏn'səl)
A collection of lymphoid tissue.
A small oral mass of lymphoid tissue, especially either of two such masses embedded in the lateral walls of the opening between the mouth and the pharynx, of uncertain function, but believed to help protect the body from respiratory infections. Also called faucial tonsil, palatine tonsil.
|tonsils (tŏn'səlz) Pronunciation Key
The two oval-shaped masses of tissue at the back of the throat that lie between the mouth and the pharynx. The tonsils are thought to prevent infections of the breathing passages but often become infected themselves.
Note: Formerly, tonsils were often removed surgically in childhood, but now they are not, unless the tonsils have grown too large or are continually subject to infection.