noun Anatomy.
a prominent oval mass of lymphoid tissue on each side of the throat.

1595–1605; < Latin tōnsillae (plural) the tonsils

tonsillar, tonsilar, tonsillary [ton-suh-ler-ee] , adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tonsil (ˈtɒnsəl)
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
Related: amygdaline
[C17: from Latin tōnsillae (pl) tonsils, of uncertain origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

c.1600, from L. tonsillæ (plural) "tonsils," dim. of toles "goiter," which is perhaps of Gaulish origin. Tonsillitis is from 1801; tonsillectomy is from 1899, a hybrid with a Gk. ending. A correct formation all from Gk. would be amygdalectomy.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

tonsil ton·sil (tŏn'səl)

  1. A collection of lymphoid tissue.

  2. 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.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
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