An irregularly shaped pneumatized bone, supporting the superior teeth and taking part in the formation of the orbit, hard palate, and nasal cavity and containing the maxillary sinus. SYN: upper jaw bone, upper jaw. [L. jawbone]

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max·il·la mak-'sil-ə n, pl max·il·lae -'sil-(.)ē, -.ī or maxillas
1) JAW (1a)
2 a) an upper jaw esp. of humans or other mammals in which the bony elements are closely fused
b) either of two membrane bone elements of the upper jaw that lie lateral to the premaxillae and that in higher vertebrates including humans bear most of the teeth
3) one of the first or second pair of mouthparts posterior to the mandibles in insects, myriopods, crustaceans and closely related arthropods

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n. (pl. maxillae)
loosely, the upper jaw, which bears the upper teeth. Strictly, the maxilla is one of a pair of bones that partly form the upper jaw, the outer walls of the maxillary sinus, and the floor of the orbit. See also mandible, skull.
maxillary adj.

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max·il·la (mak-silґə) gen. maxilґlae pl. maxilґlae, maxillas [L.] [TA] the irregularly shaped bone that with its fellow forms the upper jaw; it assists in the formation of the orbit, the nasal cavity, and the palate, and lodges the upper teeth. maxillary adj

Right maxilla. (A), Lateral view; (B), medial view.

Medical dictionary. 2011.