The palate is the roof of the mouth
in humans and other mammal
s. It separates the oral cavity
from the nasal cavity
A similar structure is found in crocodilian
s, but in most other tetrapod
s, the oral and nasal cavities are not truly separated. The palate is divided into two parts, the anterior, bony hard palate
and the posterior, fleshy soft palate
The maxillary nerve
branch of the trigeminal nerve
supplies sensory innervation
to the palate.
The hard palate forms before birth.
If the fusion is incomplete, a cleft palate
When functioning in conjunction with other parts of the mouth, the palate produces certain sounds, particularly velar
, and uvular consonant
The English synonyms
palate and palatum, and also the related adjective palatine (as in palatine bone
), are all from the Latin
''palatum'' via Old French
''palat'', words that like their English derivatives
, refer to the "roof" of the mouth.
The Latin word ''palatum'' is of unknown (possibly Etruscan
) ultimate origin and served also as a source to the Latin word meaning palace, ''palatium
'', from which other senses of palatine
and the English word palace derive, and not the other way round.
As the roof of the mouth was once considered the seat of the sense of taste
, palate can also refer to this sense itself, as in the phrase "a discriminating palate". By further extension, the flavor of a food (particularly beer or wine) may be called its palate, as when a wine is said to have an oaky
, objects whose names are homophonous with ''palate'' for many English-speakers