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Medical Term:


Pronunciation: far'ingks, fa-rin'jis, fa-rin'jez

Definition: The superior expanded portion of the alimentary tract, between the mouth and nasal cavities (superiorly and anteriorly) and the esophagus (inferiorly); consisting of nasopharynx, oropharynx, and laryngopharynx, the first two being shared with the respiratory tract; the pharnyx is distinct from the rest of the alimentary tract in being composed exclusively of voluntary skeletal muscle arranged in outer circular and inner longitudinal layers.

[Mod. L. fr. G. pharynx (pharyng-), the throat, the joint opening of the gullet and windpipe]

© Copyright 2016 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.