- The larynx is the portion of the breathing, or respiratory, tract containing the vocal cords which produce vocal sound. It is located between the pharynx and the trachea. The larynx, also called the voice box, is a 2-inch-long, tube-shaped organ in the neck. We use the larynx when we breathe, talk, or swallow. Its outer wall of cartilage forms the area of the front of the neck referred to as the "Adams apple." The vocal cords, two bands of muscle, form a "V" inside the larynx. Each time we inhale (breathe in), air goes into our nose or mouth, then through the larynx, down the trachea, and into our lungs. When we exhale (breathe out), the air goes the other way. When we breathe, the vocal cords are relaxed, and air moves through the space between them without making any sound. When we talk, the vocal cords tighten up and move closer together. Air from the lungs is forced between them and makes them vibrate, producing the sound of our voice. The tongue, lips, and teeth form this sound into words. The esophagus, a tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach, is just behind the trachea and the larynx. The openings of the esophagus and the larynx are very close together in the throat. When we swallow, a flap called the epiglottis moves down over the larynx to keep food out of the windpipe.
* * *The organ of voice production; the part of the respiratory tract between the pharynx and the trachea; it consists of a framework of cartilages and elastic membranes housing the vocal folds and the muscles which control the position and tension of these elements. [Mod. L. fr. G.]- Cooper-Rand artificial l. an electronic device for vocal rehabilitation after laryngectomy that produces an intraoral sound articulated into speech with the pharynx, palate, tongue, lips, and teeth.
* * *lar·ynx 'lar-iŋ(k)s n, pl la·ryn·ges lə-'rin-(.)jēz or lar·ynx·es the modified upper part of the respiratory passage of air-breathing vertebrates that is bounded above by the glottis, is continuous below with the trachea, has a complex cartilaginous or bony skeleton capable of limited motion through the action of associated muscles, and in humans, most other mammals, and a few lower forms has a set of elastic vocal cords that play a major role in sound production and speech called also voice box
* * *n.the organ responsible for the production of vocal sounds, also serving as an air passage conveying air from the pharynx to the lungs. It is situated in the front of the neck, above the trachea. It is made up of a framework of nine cartilages - the epiglottis, thyroid, cricoid, arytenoid (two), corniculate (two), and cuneiform (two) - bound together by ligaments and muscles and lined with mucous membrane. Within are a pair of vocal folds, which function in the production of voice.• laryngeal adj.
* * *lar·ynx (larґinks) gen. larynґgis, pl. larynґges [L., from Gr.] [TA] the musculocartilaginous structure, lined with mucous membrane, connected to the superior part of the trachea and to the pharynx inferior to the tongue and the hyoid bone; the essential sphincter guarding the entrance into the trachea and functioning secondarily as the organ of voice. It is formed by nine cartilages connected by ligaments and eight muscles. laryngeal adj
(A), Anterior view of the larynx; (B), posterior view of the interior of the pharynx, larynx, and trachea.
Medical dictionary. 2011.