from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A small oral mass of lymphoid tissue, especially either of two such masses embedded in the lateral walls of the opening between the mouth and the pharynx, of uncertain function, but believed to help protect the body from respiratory infections.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Either of a pair of small masses of lymphoid tissue that lie on each side of the throat and that help protect the body against infection; palatine tonsil.
- n. Any of various small masses of lymphoid tissues, including palatine tonsils, adenoids and lingual tonsils.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. One of the two glandular organs situated in the throat at the sides of the fauces. The tonsils are sometimes called the almonds, from their shape.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One of two prominent oval bodies situated in the recesses formed, one on each side of the fauces, between the anterior and posterior palatine arches.
- n. One of a pair of small superficial lobes of the cerebellum; the cerebellar amygdala. Also tonsilla in both senses.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. either of two masses of lymphatic tissue one on each side of the oral pharynx
From Latin tōnsillae, tonsils, diminutive of tōlēs, swollen tonsils.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin tonsilla, compare French tonsille. (Wiktionary)