either of a pair of oval masses of lymphoid tissue, one on each side of the throat at the back of the mouth
Origin of tonsilClassical Latin tonsillae, plural , diminutive of t?l?s (; from an unverified form tonsles), goiter
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.
Origin of tonsilFrom Latin t&omacron;nsillae, tonsils, diminutive of t&omacron;l&emacron;s, swollen tonsils.
- (anatomy, immunology) Either of a pair of small masses of lymphoid tissue that lie on each side of the throat and that help protect the body against infection; palatine tonsil.
- (anatomy, immunology) Any of various small masses of lymphoid tissues, including palatine tonsils, adenoids and lingual tonsils.
OriginSee also: tonsils
From Latin tonsilla, compare French tonsille.