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Head and neck.
Palate exhibiting torus palatinus.
The palate // is the roof of the mouth in humans and other mammals. It separates the oral cavity from the nasal cavity. A similar structure is found in crocodilians, but in most other tetrapods, the oral and nasal cavities are not truly separate. The palate is divided into two parts, the anterior bony hard palate and the posterior fleshy soft palate (or velum).
The hard palate forms before birth.
If the fusion is incomplete, it is called a cleft palate.
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 and its derivatives mentioned above are all unrelated to a similar-sounding Latin word meaning palace, palatium, from which other senses of palatine and the English word palace itself derive.
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 palate.
palate - late 14c., 'roof of the mouth,' from O.Fr. palat, from L. palatum 'roof of the mouth,' perhaps of Etruscan origin. Popularly considered the seat of taste, hence transferred meaning 'sense of taste' (1520s).
palatine (adj.) - mid-15c., from M.Fr. palatin (15c.), from M.L. palatinus 'of the palace' (of the Caesars), from L. palatium (see palace). Used in English to mean 'quasi-royal authority.' Reference to the Rhineland state is from c.1580.