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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Illu01 head neck.jpg
Head and neck.
Palate exhibiting torus palatinus.
Latin palatum
Gray's subject #242 1112
MeSH Palate
Dorlands/Elsevier Palate

The palate (pronounced /ˈpælɨt/) is the roof of the mouth in humans and other mammals. It separates the oral cavity from the nasal cavity.[1] A similar structure is found in crocodilians, but, in most other tetrapods, the oral and nasal cavities are not truly separate. The palate is divided into two parts, the anterior bony hard palate, and the posterior fleshy soft palate or velum. [2] [3][4]The maxillary nerve branch of the trigeminal nerve (V) supplies sensory innervation to the palate.

The hard palate is formed before birth. If the fusion is not complete, it is called a cleft palate. As the roof of the mouth was once considered the seat of the sense of taste, palate can also refer to this sense itself, as in the phrase "a discriminating palate". By further extension, the flavor of a food (particularly beer or wine) may be called its palate, as when a wine is said to have an oaky palate.



The name is Middle English and is derived from the Latin palatum or the Old French palat


When functioning in conjunction with other parts of the mouth the palate produces certain sounds, particularly velar, palatal, palatalized, postalveolar, alveolo-palatal, and uvular consonants. [5]

See also


  1. ^ Wingerd, 166
  2. ^ Wingerd, 478
  3. ^ Clayman, 1995
  4. ^ Gray's Anatomy, 1172
  5. ^ Gray's Anatomy, 1201


  • Wingerd, Bruce D. (1994). The Human Body Concepts of Anatomy & Physiology. Saunders College Publishing. ISBN 0-03-055507-8.  
  • Wingerd, Bruce (1994). The Human Body Concepts of Anatomy and Physiology. Fort Worth: Saunders College Publishing. pp. 166. ISBN 0-03-055508-8.  
  • Goss, Charles Mayo (1966). Gray's Anatomy. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger. pp. 1172.  

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

PALATE (Lat. palatum, possibly from the root of pascere, to feed), the roof of the mouth in man and vertebrate animals. The palate is divided into two parts, the anterior bony "hard palate" (see Mouth), and the posterior fleshy "soft palate" (see Pharynx). For the malformation consisting in a longitudinal fissure in the roof of the mouth, see Cleft Palate.

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