Hyoid bone


noun, plural: hyoid bones

The U-shaped bone that lies in the throat just below the tongue, and is surrounded by muscles and ligaments, and not directly attached to other bones; thus, it is suspended in position. Its chief function is to support the tongue muscles and thereby aid in vocalization or speech (as in humans)


The hyoid bone has three major components: the body of the hyoid, a pair of greater cornu, and a pair of lesser cornu.

In humans, the hyoid bone is the result of the fusion of some bones of the hyoid apparatus. Its role is crucial in humans since it supports the tongue to enable wide range of vocalization and human speech.

Word origin: from the Greek word hyoeides meaning "shaped like the letter upsilon" (υ)

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