Medical Definition of Nasopharynx

Nasopharynx: The area of the upper throat that lies behind the nose. In contrast to the oropharynx, the area of the throat that lies behind the mouth.

The word "nasopharynx" is a hybrid -- part Latin, part Greek. "Naso-" is a prefix that has to do with the nose. It comes from the Latin "nasus" for the nose (or snout). "Pharynx" is the Greek word for throat. The Greco-Roman term "nasopharynx" was coined in 1877.

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Last Editorial Review: 6/9/2016

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