tonsils

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tonsils Two masses of oval-shaped lymph tissue located at the back of the throat (palatine tonsils) or on the rear of the tongue (lingual tonsils). Two masses of oval-shaped lymph tissue located at the back of the throat (palatine tonsils) or on the rear of the tongue (lingual tonsils). They filter disease organisms. Their pitted surface easily becomes infected (tonsillitis).

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tonsils (ton-silz) pl. n. masses of lymphoid tissue around the pharynx, usually referring to the masses on either side of the oropharynx (palatine t.). See also adenoids (nasopharyngeal tonsil).