Definition of hyoid in English:


(also hyoid bone)


  • A U-shaped bone in the neck which supports the tongue.

    • ‘In most vertebrates the hyoid supports the tongue, as it does in the snake-necked turtle.’
    • ‘I included all muscles associated with the jaws, tongue and hyoid, palate, and pharynx.’
    • ‘Freeing the tongue from the hyoid removes a limit on tongue excursion imposed by the basic architecture of the mammalian feeding apparatus.’
    • ‘The chimaeran hyoid is, it turns out, quite happy supporting the operculum and has no interest in the palatoquadrate.’
    • ‘Their contraction shortens the tongue towards its base on the hyoid.’


  • Relating to the hyoid or structures associated with it.

    • ‘Speech requires flexibility of the upper airway, including laryngeal and hyoid mobility and separation of the hard palate from the epiglottis.’
    • ‘Again, we see that the mandibular and hyoid arches are developmentally different from the rest of the series.’
    • ‘The mechanism by which these fish capture prey involves upper jaw protrusion, lower jaw depression, hyoid depression, and cranial rotation.’
    • ‘The hypohyal is a ventral element of the hyoid arch which links the ceratohyal and the basihyal.’
    • ‘These are formed from fused hyoid rays and articulate with the succeeding gill arches.’


Early 19th century via French from modern Latin hyoïdes, from Greek huoeidēs ‘shaped like the letter upsilon (υ)’.