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Illu01 head neck.jpg
Head and neck.
Palate exhibiting torus palatinus.
Latin Palatum
Gray's p.1112
MeSH Palate
Anatomical terminology

The palate /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]


See also: Hard palate and Soft palate


The maxillary nerve branch of the trigeminal nerve supplies sensory innervation to the palate.


The hard palate forms before birth.


See also: Cleft palate

If the fusion is incomplete, it is called a cleft palate.


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.[4]



The English synonyms palate and palatum, and also the related adjective palatine (as in palatine bone), are all from the Latin palatum via Old French palat, words that, like their English derivatives, refer to the "roof of the mouth."[5]

The Latin word palatum and its derivatives mentioned above are all unrelated to a similar-sounding Latin word meaning palace, palatium, from which other senses of palatine and the English word palace itself derive.[6]

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.

See also[edit]

This article uses anatomical terminology; for an overview, see anatomical terminology.


  1. ^ Wingerd, Bruce D. (1994). The Human Body Concepts of Anatomy and Physiology. Fort Worth: Saunders College Publishing. p. 166. ISBN 0-03-055507-8. 
  2. ^ Wingerd, Bruce D. (1994). The Human Body Concepts of Anatomy and Physiology. Fort Worth: Saunders College Publishing. p. 478. ISBN 0-03-055507-8. 
  3. ^ Goss, Charles Mayo (1966). Gray's Anatomy. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger. p. 1172. 
  4. ^ Goss, Charles Mayo (1966). Gray's Anatomy. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger. p. 1201. 
  5. ^ Harper, Douglas (© 2001-2010). "palate (the entry for)". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 10 September 2011. "palate - late 14c., 'roof of the mouth,' from O.Fr. palat, from L. palatum 'roof of the mouth,' perhaps of Etruscan origin. Popularly considered the seat of taste, hence transferred meaning 'sense of taste' (1520s)." 
  6. ^ Harper, Douglas (© 2001-2010). "palatine (the entry for)". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 10 September 2011. "palatine (adj.) - mid-15c., from M.Fr. palatin (15c.), from M.L. palatinus 'of the palace' (of the Caesars), from L. palatium (see palace). Used in English to mean 'quasi-royal authority.' Reference to the Rhineland state is from c.1580." 
  • Saladin, Kenneth (2010). Anatomy and Physiology: The Unity of Form and Function. New York: McGraw Hill. p. 256. 
  • Thompson, Gale (2005–2006). World of Anatomy and Physiology. Thompson Corporation. pp. Palate (Hard and Soft Palate). 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palate — Please support Wikipedia.
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12009 news items

The Guardian

The Guardian
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 11:00:00 -0700

If they don't fuse properly, the result is a cleft – which can affect the palate, lip or both. Although the rate of occurrence of cleft lip and palate – one in 700 UK babies – isn't increasing, the number of surgeries is. One reason for the rise is ...
The Atlantic
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 16:12:56 -0700

"The decision on HSR is going to shape the future in ways we can't predict, and a touch of modesty in the arguments would be welcome." James Fallows Aug 31 2014, 7:12 PM ET. Tweet. More. Email · Print. Union Pacific Station, East Los Angeles, 1950 ...
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 15:52:30 -0700

Check out this swell video from the Exploratorium's Science in the City series which tells the story of Sutro Tower, which went "from eyesore to icon." Its years of use as the Bay Area's main antenna for local television only lasted about 30 years ...
Big News Network.com
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 12:52:30 -0700

The name's strongly indicative of this restaurateur's mission: To "turn black people on" to sushi. "For me to fulfill this, I had to create sushi for the African palate." The challenge was to overcome Africans' "one big misconception" that sushi hat is ...
Montrose Daily Press
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 01:03:45 -0700

In honor of National Peach month, the Montrose Farmers Market hosted its second pie-baking contest of the year. Lois Harvie, Farmers Market manager, said local peaches were the focus of the dessert dishes, which included plenty of pies, a few cobblers ...
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 15:18:45 -0700

Our obsession with Tenzing, the SF Zoo's red panda, is well documented. But, until now, we assumed that the majority of his energy went towards 1) looking cute and 2) eating bamboo. But you know what they say about assumptions! For today we learned ...

Western Daily Press

Muskegon Chronicle
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 04:08:00 -0700

Amy VanSickle holds her daughter Vivienne during a doctor visit to see her surgeon Monday, July 28, 2014 in Grand Rapids, Mich. Dr. Robert Mann recently performed surgery to correct Vivienne's cleft palate. The VanSickles, a military family, were ...

Bucks Local News

Bucks Local News
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 14:56:15 -0700

Crossing Vineyards' concert series offers music, spirits for every palate in Washington Crossing. Published: Monday, September 01, 2014. Members of The Fabulous Greaseband are (from left), Chuck Broadbent, Jody Giambelluca, Craig Parson, Gary ...

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