• WordNet 3.6
    • n syrinx the vocal organ of a bird
    • n syrinx a primitive wind instrument consisting of several parallel pipes bound together
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Syrinx (Mus) A wind instrument made of reeds tied together; -- called also pandean pipes.
    • Syrinx (Anat) The lower larynx in birds.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • syrinx Same as Pan's pipes (which see, under pipe).
    • syrinx In Egypt. archæol., a narrow and deep rock-cut channel or tunnel forming a characteristic feature of Egyptian tombs of the New Empire.
    • syrinx In anatomy, the Eustachian tube.
    • syrinx In ornithology, the voice-organ of birds; the lower larynx, situated at or near the bifurcation of the trachea into the bronchi, and serving to modulate the voice, as in singing. This is usually a more complicated structure than the larynx proper (at the top of the trachea), and so differently constructed in different birds that it affords characters of great significance in classification. The highest group of Passeres (namely, the suborder Oscines, which contains the singing birds) is signalized by the elaboration of this musical organ, especially with reference to its intrinsic musculation. A few birds have no syrinx; some have one, yet without intrinsic muscles; in some the syringes arc wholly bronchial, and consequently paired; in others the syrinx is wholly tracheal, and single. But in nearly all birds the syrinx is bronchotracheal, and results from a special modification of the lower end of the trachea and upper end of each bronchus. The lowermost tracheal ring, or a piece composed of several such rings, is enlarged and otherwise modified, and crossed by a bolt-bar (see cut under pessulus), which separates the single tracheal tube into right and left openings of the bronchi. Amedian septum rises from the pessulus into the trachea, between the two bronchial oriflces, and the free upper margin of this septum, called the semilunar membrane, forms the inner lip of a rima syringis, whose outer lip is a fold of mucous membrane from the opposite side of each bronchus. These membranes are vibratile in the act of singing, and constitute vocal cords. Several upper bronchial half-rings, enlarged and otherwise modified, are completed in circumference by a single continuous membrane, the internal tympaniform membrane, which is attached to the pessulus above. The syrinx is actuated by a pair, or several pairs, of intrinsic singiug-muscles, called syringomya, which vary much in different birds in their attachments as well as in their number. (See song-muscle.) In the Oscines at least five pairs are recognized, though their nomenclature is by no means settled, owing to their description under different names by different authors, and to the difficulty of homologizing the individual muscles under their many modifications in different birds. The insertion of the syringomya into the ends and not into the middle of the bronchial half-rings is characteristic of the true Oscines. See Acromyodi, Mesomyodi.
    • syrinx In surgery, a fistula.
    • n syrinx In some of the brachiopods, like Syringothyris, a split tubular structure developed from the deltidial plates, lying within the umbonal region of the ventral valve, and inclosing or forming a passage for the pedicle.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Syrinx a fistula or fistulous opening: a narrow gallery in the tombs of ancient Egypt
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL., from Gr. a pipe
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. syringx, a pipe, tomē, a cutting—temnein, to cut.


In literature:

Though Syrinx your Pans Mistres were, Yet Syrinx well might wait on her.
"The Poetical Works of John Milton" by John Milton
There, there, that one who's playing on a 'syrinx of seven reeds.
"Yama (The Pit)" by Alexandra Kuprin
He has been sent by Pan to fetch fruits for the entertainment of 'His paramour the Syrinx bright.
"Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama" by Walter W. Greg
SYRINX, an Arcadian nymph, who, being pursued by Pan, fled into a river, was metamorphosed into a reed, of which Pan made his flute.
"The Nuttall Encyclopaedia" by Edited by Rev. James Wood
You expect the syrinx to unfold the story of the reed in light song.
"Adventures in the Arts" by Marsden Hartley
Pan, falling in love with the Nymph Syrinx, she flies from him; on which he pursues her.
"The Metamorphoses of Ovid" by Publius Ovidius Naso
For a lyre outshone by my syrinx hast thou sold all thine empire to me.
"Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos of Ouida" by Ouida
This is the story of Syrinx, the reed, as Ovid has told it to us.
"A Book of Myths" by Jean Lang
Near the lower end of the trachea, just above the lungs, there is a specialized organ of the bird's throat called the syrinx.
"Our Bird Comrades" by Leander S. (Leander Sylvester) Keyser
For this is the sound of the hoof of Pan, stamping on the moist earth, as he rages for Syrinx.
"Visions and Revisions" by John Cowper Powys

In poetry:

With a broken syrinx there,
From enameled beds of buds,
Rises Pan in hoof and hair--
Moonlight his dim sculpture floods.
"Serenade" by Madison Julius Cawein
The flying Syrinx turned and sped
By dim, mysterious hollows,
Where night is black, and day is red,
And frost the fire-wind follows.
"Syrinx" by Henry Kendall
Breathe in thy syrinx Freedom's breath,
Quaver the fresh and true,
Dispel this lingering wintry mist of death
And charm the world anew!
"An Early Bluebird" by Maurice Thompson
And lingering by each haunt he knew,
Of fount or sinuous stream or grassy marge,
He set the syrinx to his lips, and blew
A note divinely large;
"Favorites of Pan" by Archibald Lampman
Genius, that wind-worn reed, unsightly, rude,
Notched by some strong, untutored artisan;
That golden lyre, that lute of jeweled wood,
That syrinx blown by furry lips of Pan!
"To A Realist" by Maurice Thompson
Through the dark reeds wet with rain, past the singing foam
Went the light-foot Mysian maids, calling Hylas home.
Syrinx felt the silver spell fold her at her need.
Hear, ere yet you say farewell, the wind along the reed.
"The Little Fauns To Proserpine" by Marjorie Lowry Christie Pickthall