- The small piece of soft tissue that can be seen dangling down from the soft palate over the back of the tongue. The uvula is described variously shaped like a U, a tear or a grape. Its name comes from the Latin word for "grape," uva. The uvula has its own little muscle, the musculus uvuae, to help it stiffen and change shape, so it helps fill in the space at the back of the throat. It helps keep food from going down the wrong way down the breathing passage when one swallows. Singers credit the uvula with letting them produce a vibrato, a wavy up-and-down sound. The uvula is one of the soft-tissue structures commonly blamed for snoring and for sleep apnea (a break in breathing during sleep). Some treatments for these conditions involve removing excess flesh from the uvula and surrounding areas. The surgery, called uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, is designed to tighten up flabby tissues and enlarge the upper air passages.
* * *An appendant fleshy mass; a structure bearing a fancied resemblance to the palatine u.. [Mod. L. dim. of L. uva, a grape, the u.]- u. of bladder [TA] a slight projection into the cavity of the bladder, usually more prominent in old men, just behind the urethral opening, marking the location of the middle lobe of the prostate. SYN: u. vesicae [TA], Lieutaud u..- u. [TA] of cerebellum a triangular elevation on the vermis of the cerebellum, lying between the two tonsils anterior to the pyramis. SYN: u. cerebelli, u. vermis.- u. of soft palate [TA] a conical projection from the posterior edge of the middle of the soft palate, composed of connective tissue containing a number of racemose glands, and some muscular fibers (uvulae muscle). SYN: u. palatina [TA], palatine u., pendulous palate.
* * *1) the pendent fleshy lobe in the middle of the posterior border of the soft palate2) a lobe of the inferior vermis of the cerebellum located in front of the pyramiduvu·lar -lər adj
* * *n.a small soft extension of the soft palate that hangs from the roof of the mouth above the root of the tongue. It is composed of muscle, connective tissue, and mucous membrane.
* * *uvu·la (uґvu-lə) pl. uґvulae [L. â€œlittle grapeâ€] 1. a pendent, fleshy mass. 2. u. palatina.
Medical dictionary. 2011.