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palate

palate The colloquial link of ‘palate’ to taste, and thence more generally to fancy, liking, and pleasurable sensation, has a reasonable basis: the presence of sensory receptors for taste. There are however many more of these on the tongue than on the palate, and many of the subtleties of ‘taste’ are in fact dependent upon the sense of smell.

The palate is defined anatomically as the roof of the mouth. Its ‘hard’ component is part of the skull: a shelf of bone which separates the mouth from the nasal cavity, covered by mucous membrane. The ‘soft’ component extends back and downwards, to a free edge with the uvula at its centre; it consists of muscle ‘sandwiched’ within mucous membrane. The muscle takes part automatically in the complexities of swallowing.

An intact palate is necessary for speaking normally — as witness the interference with speech in the condition of ‘cleft palate’ — a congenital defect which goes along with harelip, representing a failure of embryonic tissues to join up appropriately.

Sheila Jennett


See also cleft lip and palate; eating; swallowing; taste and smell.

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"palate." The Oxford Companion to the Body. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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palate

palate (păl´Ĭt), roof of the mouth. The front part, known as the hard palate, formed by the upper maxillary bones and the palatine bones, separates the mouth from the nasal cavity. It is composed of a bone plate covered with a layer of mucous membrane tissue. The back portion, or soft palate, consists of muscular tissue and mucous membrane forming a partial partition between the mouth and the throat. A small conelike projection, the uvula, hangs from the middle of the soft palate in humans. The soft palate and uvula move upward during swallowing or sucking, preventing food from entering the nasopharynx. In mammals other than humans, the soft palate overlaps the larynx during swallowing so as to prevent entry of foreign substances into the respiratory tract. Both the hard and soft portions of the palate are lined with mucous membrane containing numerous glands that lubricate the mouth and throat. If the sides of the bony palate fail to come together during embryonic development an opening, or cleft, remains along the midline. This condition, known as cleft palate, can be repaired surgically in early infancy. See digestive system.

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"palate." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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palate

pal·ate / ˈpalit/ • n. 1. the roof of the mouth, separating the cavities of the nose and the mouth in vertebrates. 2. a person's appreciation of taste and flavor, esp. when sophisticated and discriminating: a fine range of drink for sophisticated palates. ∎  a person's taste or liking: the suggestions may not suit everyone's palate. ∎  taste or flavor of wine or beer: a wine with a zingy, peachy palate.

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"palate." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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palate

palate The roof of the mouth; it separates the nasal and mouth cavities. In Mammalia and Crocodilia bones project inward from the jaws to form a false palate below the original palate, so extending the nasal cavity and moving its opening to a position in the throat. In mammals the bony part of the (false) hard palate is extended at the rear of the mouth by membrane and connective tissue which form the soft palate.

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"palate." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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palate

palate (pal-ăt) n. the roof of the mouth, which separates the mouth from the nasal cavity. hard p. the front part of the palate. It is formed by processes of the maxillae and palatine bones and is covered by mucous membrane. soft p. the posterior part of the palate: a movable fold of mucous membrane that tapers at the back of the mouth to form the uvula. See also cleft palate.

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"palate." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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PALATE

PALATE. An anatomical term for the roof of the mouth, behind the ALVEOLAR ridge, often described as having two parts: the hard palate (the roof of the mouth proper) and the soft palate (the VELUM). The adjective palatal is used to describe sounds made by raising the front of the tongue towards the hard palate. See CONSONANT, SPEECH.

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"PALATE." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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palate

palate The roof of the mouth cavity of vertebrates, which separates the buccal and nasal cavities. In mammals it is divided into two zones, the bony hard palate and the soft palate, and completely separates the buccal cavity from the air passage to enable simultaneous eating and breathing.

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"palate." A Dictionary of Biology. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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palate

palate XIX (palet). — L. palātum; of unkn. orig.
Hence vb. taste, relish. XVII. palatble XVII. palatal XIX. — F. palatal. The comb. form of palate is palato- XVIII.

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"palate." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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palate

palate Roof of the mouth, comprising the bony front part known as the hard palate, and the softer, fleshy part at the back, known as the soft palate.

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"palate." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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palate

palate The roof of the mouth; it separates the nasal and mouth cavities.

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"palate." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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palate

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