Voice box

The voice box, or larynx, is the portion of the respiratory (breathing) tract containing the vocal cords which produce sound. It is located between the pharynx and the trachea. The larynx, also called the voice box, is a 2-inch-long, tube-shaped organ in the neck. We use the larynx when we breathe, talk, or swallow. Its outer wall of cartilage forms the area of the front of the neck referred to as the "Adams apple." The vocal cords are two bands of muscle that form a "V" inside the larynx. Each time we inhale (breathe in), air goes into our nose or mouth, then through the larynx, down the trachea, and into our lungs. When we exhale (breathe out), the air goes the other way. When we breathe, the vocal cords relax and air moves through the space between them without making a sound. When we talk, the vocal cords tighten up and move closer together. Air from the lungs is forced between them and makes them vibrate, producing the sound of our voice. The tongue, lips, and teeth form this sound into words. The esophagus, the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach, is just behind the trachea and the larynx. The openings of the esophagus and the larynx are very close together in the throat. When we swallow, a flap called the epiglottis moves down over the larynx to keep food out of the windpipe.

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voice box n LARYNX

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Voice box — could mean:* The larynx (plural larynges), colloquially known as the voicebox, is an organ in the neck of mammals involved in protection of the trachea and sound production. * The Talk box, a musical sound effects device that allows a musician to …   Wikipedia

  • voice box — voice boxes N COUNT Your voice box is the top part of the tube that leads from your throat to your lungs, which contains your vocal cords. Syn: larynx …   English dictionary

  • voice box — n the part of your throat that you use to produce sounds when you speak = ↑larynx …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • voice box — voice ,box noun count INFORMAL the part of your throat from which you produce sounds …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • voice box — voice′ box n. the larynx • Etymology: 1910–15 …   From formal English to slang

  • voice box — ► NOUN ▪ the larynx …   English terms dictionary

  • voice box — n. LARYNX …   English World dictionary

  • voice box — noun a cartilaginous structure at the top of the trachea; contains elastic vocal cords that are the source of the vocal tone in speech • Syn: ↑larynx • Derivationally related forms: ↑laryngeal (for: ↑larynx) • Hypernyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • voice box — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms voice box : singular voice box plural voice boxes informal the part of your throat from which you produce sounds …   English dictionary

  • voice box — {n.} The part of the throat where the sound of your voice is made; the larynx. * /Mr. Smith s voice box was taken out in an operation, and he could not talk after that./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

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