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