ETYM Latin palatum: cf. French palais, Of. also palat.
In mammals, the roof of the mouth. The bony front part is the hard palate, the muscular rear part the soft palate. Incomplete fusion of the two lateral halves of the palate (cleft palate) causes interference with speech.
Technically, the mammalian palate is a secondary structure and parallel to the original mouth roof of fishes, amphibians, reptiles, and birds.
(Homonym: pallet, pallette).
The upper surface of the mouth that separates the oral and nasal cavities; SYN. roof of the mouth.