noun, plural epiglottises, epiglottides [ep-i-glot-i-deez] . Anatomy.
a thin, valvelike, cartilaginous structure that covers the glottis during swallowing, preventing the entrance of food and drink into the larynx.

1605–15; < Greek epiglōttís; see epi-, glottis

epiglottal, epiglottic, epiglottidean [ep-i-glo-tid-ee-uhn] , adjective
subepiglottal, adjective
subepiglottic, adjective
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World English Dictionary
epiglottis (ˌɛpɪˈɡlɒtɪs)
n , pl -tises, -tides
a thin cartilaginous flap that covers the entrance to the larynx during swallowing, preventing food from entering the trachea

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Word Origin & History

1525, from Gk. epiglottis, from epi- "on" + glottis, from glotta, variant of glossa "tongue."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

epiglottis ep·i·glot·tis (ěp'ĭ-glŏt'ĭs)
n. pl. ep·i·glot·tis·es or ep·i·glot·ti·des (-glŏt'ĭ-dēz')
The thin elastic cartilaginous structure located at the root of the tongue that folds over the glottis to prevent food and liquid from entering the trachea during the act of swallowing.

ep'i·glot'tic adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
epiglottis   (ěp'ĭ-glŏt'ĭs)  Pronunciation Key 
A thin, triangular plate of cartilage at the base of the tongue that covers the glottis during swallowing to keep food from entering the trachea.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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