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Medical Term:


Pronunciation: ton'sil


  1. Intramucosal collection of lymphocytes or aggregated lymphoid tissue closely associated with the overlying epithelium, including the pharyngeal tonsil (adenoid), palatine tonsil, and lingual tonsil, that collectively form a lymphoepithelial ring in the pharynx.
  2. An anatomic structure resembling the palatine tonsil in form.

See: pharyngeal lymphatic ring

Synonym(s): palatine tonsil

[L. tonsilla, a stake, in pl. the tonsils]

© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.