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the throat; the musculomembranous cavity, about 5 inches (12.5 cm) long, behind the nasal cavities, mouth, and larynx, communicating with them and with the esophagus. It includes many individual structures and may be divided into three areas: the nasopharynx (top), oropharynx (center, behind the mouth), and laryngopharynx (bottom). The nasopharynx, connected with the nasal cavities, provides a passage for air during breathing and contains the openings of the eustachian tubes through which air enters the middle ear. The oropharynx and laryngopharynx provide passageways for both air and food. The pharynx also functions as a resonating organ in speech.

The pharynx is separated from the mouth by the soft palate and its fleshy V-shaped extension or flap, the uvula, which hangs from the top of the back of the mouth, above the root of the tongue. In swallowing, the uvula lifts up, closing off the nasopharynx as food passes from the mouth through the lower parts of the pharynx to the esophagus. On each side of the entrance to the pharynx from the mouth, and behind the nasal passage, are the tonsils and adenoids, masses of lymphoid tissue.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


, gen.


, pl.


(far'ingks, fă-rin'jis, fă-rin'jēz), [TA] Avoid the misspelling/mispronunciatoin pharnyx. Do not confuse this word with fornix.
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]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


n. pl. pharynges (fə-rĭn′jēz) or pharynxes
The section of the digestive tract that extends from the mouth and nasal cavities to the larynx, where it becomes continuous with the esophagus.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


, pl. pharynges (far'ingks, fă-rin'jēz) [TA]
The upper expanded portion of the digestive tube, between the esophagus below and the mouth and nasal cavities above and in front.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012


The common passage to the gullet (OESOPHAGUS) and the windpipe (TRACHEA) from the back of the mouth and the back of the nose. The pharynx is a muscular tube lined with MUCOUS MEMBRANE, and consists of the NASOPHARYNX, the OROPHARYNX and the LARYNGOPHARYNX.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005


the canal leading from the mouth to the oesophagus in vertebrates. In humans, the upper pharynx includes the nasal section divided off by the soft palate and the lower pharynx which includes the mouth and throat. In protochordates it is that part of the gut system into which the gill slits open internally.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005


The pharynx is the part of the throat that lies between the mouth and the larynx or voice box.
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


, pl. pharynges (far'ingks, fă-rin'jēz) [TA]
Superior expanded portion of alimentary tract, between mouth and nasal cavities (superiorly and anteriorly) and esophagus (inferiorly); consisting of nasopharynx, oropharynx, and laryngopharynx.
Medical Dictionary for the Dental Professions © Farlex 2012

Patient discussion about pharynx

Q. what should i take for a sorrow throat?

A. There are many types of tablets you can take under your tongue that help relieve the pain, and you can get them over the counter. You should see a doctor if the sore throat continues longer than 1-2 days, to makw sure there is no possible bacterial infection involved in which case you will need antibiotics.

Q. what is throat cancer exactly? does it mean you lose your voice?

A. is there a chance to keep a healthy voice after troat cancer treatments at all? any known cases?

Q. My friend think she has strep in her throat. What should she do. She doesn't want to take antibiotics. Her glands are swollen and she feels kinda out of it. Any more information or links would be greatly appreciated.

A. she should go to a Dr. that will take a look and a swab of the area. if he'll suspect a Strep. he'll give her antibiotics before getting results. it's important to follow antibiotic instructions ("10 days, 3 times a day"..).those infection can progress to other organs like the heart valves (very common) and cause chronic heart failure.

More discussions about pharynx
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