AskDefine | Define palate

Dictionary Definition

palate n : the upper surface of the mouth that separates the oral and nasal cavities [syn: roof of the mouth]

User Contributed Dictionary



From Middle English < Old French palat < Latin palatum (roof of the mouth), perhaps of Etruscan origin.


  • /ˈpælɪt/ or /ˈpælət/


  • palette (possibly depending on dialect or accent)
  • pallet (possibly depending on dialect or accent)
  • pallette (possibly depending on dialect or accent)


  1. (Anatomy) The roof of the mouth; the uraniscus.
  2. The sense of taste.


roof of the mouth
  • Albanian: qiellzë
  • Bosnian: nepce
  • Chinese: 上顎, 上颚 (shang’e)
  • Croatian: nepce
  • Czech: patro
  • Dutch: gehemelte , verhemelte
  • Esperanto: palato
  • Finnish: suulaki, kitalaki
  • French: palais
  • German: Gaumen
  • Greek: ουρανίσκος
  • Hebrew: חך (khaykh)
  • Italian: palato
  • Japanese: 口蓋 (こうがい, kōgai)
  • Korean: 입천장 (ib-cheongjang, ip-), 구개 (gugae)
  • Latin: palatum
  • Romanian: palat
  • Polish: podniebienie
  • Portuguese: palato
  • Russian: нёбо (njóbo)
  • Spanish: paladar

Extensive Definition

The palate () is the roof of the mouth in humans and vertebrate animals. It separates the oral cavity from the nasal cavity. The palate is divided into two parts, the anterior bony hard palate, and the posterior fleshy soft palate or velum. The maxillary nerve branch of the trigeminal nerve (V) supplies sensory innervation to the palate.


The name is Middle English and is probably 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.

See also

palate in Arabic: حنك
palate in Catalan: Paladar
palate in Czech: Patro (ústa)
palate in Danish: Gane
palate in German: Gaumen
palate in Spanish: Paladar
palate in French: Palais (anatomie)
palate in Korean: 입천장
palate in Italian: Palato
palate in Hebrew: חך
palate in Kurdish: Ezmanê dêv
palate in Latin: Palatum
palate in Dutch: Verhemelte
palate in Polish: Podniebienie (anatomia)
palate in Finnish: Suulaki
palate in Swedish: Gom
palate in Ukrainian: Піднебіння

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

aftertaste, alveolar ridge, alveolus, apex, appreciation, appreciation of differences, appreciativeness, artistic judgment, arytenoid cartilages, back, bitter, blade, connoisseurship, critical niceness, criticalness, delicacy, discriminating taste, discriminatingness, discrimination, discriminativeness, dorsum, fastidiousness, feel, feeling, fine palate, finesse, flavor, gust, gusto, hard palate, heart, judiciousness, larynx, lingua, lips, making distinctions, nasal cavity, niceness of distinction, nicety, oral cavity, pharyngeal cavity, pharynx, refined discrimination, refined palate, refinement, relish, salt, sapidity, sapor, savor, savoriness, selectiveness, sense, sensibility, sensitivity, smack, soft palate, sour, speech organ, stomach, subtlety, sweet, syrinx, tact, tactfulness, tang, taste, taste bud, teeth, teeth ridge, tip, tongue, tooth, velum, vocal chink, vocal cords, vocal folds, vocal processes, voice box, zest
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