The flap that covers the trachea during swallowing so that food does not enter the lungs. Not everything in medicine is perfectly logical. The name epiglottis was compounded from "epi-" and "- glottis" from the Greek "glotta" meaning "tongue" since it was once believed that the epiglottis was attached to the tongue!
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A leaf-shaped plate of elastic cartilage, covered with mucous membrane, at the root of the tongue, which serves as a diverter valve over the superior aperture of the larynx during the act of swallowing; it stands erect when liquids are being swallowed, but is passively bent over the aperture by solid foods being swallowed. [G. e., fr. epi, on, + glottis, the mouth of the windpipe]
- bifid e. congenital malformation in which the right and left sides of the e. are not joined; associated with stridor and aspiration in the newborn due to the rotation of the two sides of the e. into the glottis.

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epi·glot·tis .ep-ə-'glät-əs n a thin lamella of yellow elastic cartilage that ordinarily projects upward behind the tongue and just in front of the glottis and that with the arytenoid cartilages serves to cover the glottis during the act of swallowing

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a thin leaf-shaped flap of cartilage, covered with mucous membrane, situated immediately behind the root of the tongue. It covers the entrance to the larynx during swallowing.

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epi·glot·tis (ep″ĭ-glotґis) [epi- + glottis] [TA] the lidlike cartilaginous structure overhanging the entrance to the larynx and serving to prevent food from entering the larynx and trachea while swallowing. epiglottic adj

Epiglottis in a sagittal section of the head and neck.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • epiglottis — 1520s, from L.L. epiglottis, from Gk. epiglottis, lit. (that which is) upon the tongue, from epi on (see EPI (Cf. epi )) + glottis, from glotta, variant of glossa tongue (see GLOSS (Cf. gloss) (n.2 …   Etymology dictionary

  • Epiglottis — Die Epiglottis (deutsch: Kehldeckel) ist eine Verschlusseinrichtung am Kehlkopfeingang der Säugetiere. Beim Schluckakt wird der Kehldeckel passiv gegen den Kehlkopfeingang gedrückt und verschließt diesen unvollständig. Der Kehldeckel wird vom… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • epiglottis — [ep΄ə glät′is] n. [ModL < Gr epiglōttis: see EPI & GLOTTIS] the thin, triangular, lidlike piece of cartilage that folds back over the opening of the windpipe during swallowing, thus preventing food, etc. from entering the lungs: see PHARYNX… …   English World dictionary

  • Epiglottis — Ep i*glot tis, n. [NL., fr. Gr. ?; epi upon + ?, ?, tongue. See {Glottis}.] (Anat.) A cartilaginous lidlike appendage which closes the glottis while food or drink is passing while food or drink is passing through the pharynx. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Epiglottis — (gr., Anat.), Kehldeckel zum Verschluß des Kehlkopfs. Daher Epiglottītis, Kehldeckelentzündung …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Epiglottis — (griech.), Kehldeckel, s. Kehlkopf …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Epiglóttis — (grch.), Kehldeckel zum Verschluß des Kehlkopfs; Epiglottītis, Kehldeckelentzündung …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • epiglottis — ► NOUN ▪ a flap of cartilage at the root of the tongue, which is depressed during swallowing to cover the opening of the windpipe. ORIGIN Greek, from gl tta tongue …   English terms dictionary

  • Epiglottis — Infobox Anatomy Name = Latin = GraySubject = 236 GrayPage = 1095 Caption = Laryngoscopic view of interior of larynx Caption2 = Precursor = 4th and 6th branchial arch [EmbryologyUNC|hednk|025d] System = Artery = Vein = Nerve = Lymph = MeshName =… …   Wikipedia

  • epiglottis — UK [ˌepɪˈɡlɒtɪs] / US [ˌepɪˈɡlɑtɪs] noun [countable] Word forms epiglottis : singular epiglottis plural epiglottises or epiglottides medical the small piece of flesh at the back of your tongue that closes your windpipe when you swallow food …   English dictionary

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