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[ton-suh l] /ˈtɒn səl/
noun, Anatomy.
a prominent oval mass of lymphoid tissue on each side of the throat.
Origin of tonsil
1595-1605; < Latin tōnsillae (plural) the tonsils
Related forms
tonsillar, tonsilar, tonsillary
[ton-suh-ler-ee] /ˈtɒn səˌlɛr i/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for tonsillar


Also called palatine tonsil. either of two small masses of lymphatic tissue situated one on each side of the back of the mouth related adjective amygdaline
(anatomy) any small rounded mass of tissue, esp lymphatic tissue
Derived Forms
tonsillar, tonsillary, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin tōnsillae (pl) tonsils, of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for tonsillar



c.1600, from Latin tonsillae (plural) "tonsils," diminutive of toles "goiter," which is perhaps of Gaulish origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tonsillar in Medicine

tonsillar ton·sil·lar (tŏn'sə-lər) or ton·sil·lar·y (tŏn'sə-lěr'ē)
Of or relating to a tonsil, especially the palatine tonsil.

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
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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