tonsil

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ton·sil / ˈtänsəl/ • n. either of two small masses of lymphoid tissue in the throat, one on each side of the root of the tongue. DERIVATIVES: ton·sil·lar / -sələr/ adj.

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tonsil A mass of lymphoid tissue, several of which are situated at the back of the mouth and throat in higher vertebrates. In humans there are the palatine tonsils at the back of the mouth, lingual tonsils below the tongue, and pharyngeal tonsils (or adenoids) in the pharynx. They are concerned with the production of lymphocytes and therefore with defence against infection.

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tonsil (usu. pl) gland at either side of the back of the mouth. XVII. — F. tonsilles or L. tonsillæ pl.