Definition of glottis in US English:



  • The part of the larynx consisting of the vocal cords and the opening between them. It affects voice modulation through expansion or contraction.

    • ‘Pass the deflated cuff along the right side of the blade through the visualized glottis.’
    • ‘The extrinsic muscles of the larynx control the degree of tension on the vocal cords, and the intrinsic muscles regulate the glottis.’
    • ‘Hiccups in dogs, just as in people, are caused when a spasm of the muscular diaphragm creates a sudden inhalation followed by a closure of the glottis.’
    • ‘The Valsava response occurs when air is forced against a closed glottis (the narrowest part of the larynx, through which air passes into and out of the trachea).’
    • ‘In bulbar patients, a nonfunctioning glottis can cause an uncomfortable choking sensation, making mouth pressure measurements difficult.’
    • ‘It is possible that the ‘breath holding’ episodes the child exhibited previously were in fact intermittent and momentary obstruction of the glottis by the tonsil.’
    • ‘Interestingly, Valsalva maneuvers against pinched nostrils and closed glottis did, however, produce upward deflection of the eyes.’
    • ‘The glottis suddenly closes and stops the inflow of air resulting in the sound of a hiccup.’
    • ‘Cough, pronounced coff, is onomatopoeic in origin, from the sound of the closure of the glottis plus the sound of air whizzing or wheezing through the trachea.’
    • ‘The closed shutter maneuver was performed with the subject's glottis open and the cheeks held firmly with his hands.’
    • ‘During the compressive phase, the glottis is closed and the expiratory muscles start to contract.’
    • ‘Now one of the alternative pronunciations of which really does involve ‘an aspirating H sound’, that is, noise generated by turbulent flow of air through the glottis.’
    • ‘Then the blunt wire was introduced inside the trachea when the glottis was open.’
    • ‘The diagnosis is definitively established by visualization of the glottis when the patient is symptomatic.’
    • ‘To speak Carrier you have to get in touch with your glottis.’


Late 16th century: modern Latin, from Greek glōttis, from glōtta, variant of glōssa ‘tongue’.