Muscle of the uvula

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 15 Jan 2021

The muscle of the uvula or musculus uvulae is one of the five paired muscles of the soft palate and forms the bulk of the uvula.


  • origin: posterior border of the hard palate and the posterior nasal spine of the horizontal plate of the palatine bone
  • insertion: palatine aponeurosis and mucosa of the uvula
  • action: alters the shape of the uvula by shortening it
  • innervation: pharyngeal plexus

History and etymology

Uvula is Latin for 'little grape', and is the diminutive form of the Latin word 'uva' meaning grape 4.

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