One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A set of panpipes.
The lower larynx or voice organ in birds, situated at or near the junction of the trachea and bronchi and well developed in songbirds.
- ‘The muscles involved in the control of respiration, the syrinx, and movements of the beak are used during song, and all muscular activity requires energy.’
- ‘They have small, rudimentary clavicles, a small procoracoid process, no syrinx, and reduced caeca.’
- ‘They have a tracheobronchial syrinx with one pair of intrinsic muscles and modified bronchial and tracheal rings.’
- ‘That is reflected in the fact that two of the relevant taxa, parrots and songbirds, use different parts of the syrinx to make their vocal signals and different parts of their brains to control sound production.’
- ‘But the physical part of the syrinx in small songbirds is kind of similar from one bird to the next.’
Early 17th century: via Latin from Greek surinx ‘pipe, channel’.
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