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Extrinsic muscles of the tongue. Left side. (Hyoglossus visible at center.)
Hyoglossal muscle.PNG
Muscles of the neck. Anterior view. Hyoglossal muscle in purple
Latin musculus hyoglossus
Gray's p.1129
Origin Hyoid
Insertion side of the tongue
Nerve Hypoglossal (CN XII)
Actions depresses and retracts the tongue
Anatomical terms of muscle

The Hyoglossus, thin and quadrilateral, arises from the side of the body and from the whole length of the greater cornu of the hyoid bone, and passes almost vertically upward to enter the side of the tongue, between the Styloglossus and Longitudinalis inferior.


The fibers arising from the body of the hyoid bone overlap those from the greater cornu.

Structures that are medial/superficial to the hyoglossus are the glossopharyngeal nerve (9th Cranial nerve), the stylohyoid ligament and the lingual artery & vein. Since these structures are most superficial, they are most likely to be damaged.

The lingual vein passes medial to the hyoglossus, and the lingual artery passes deep to the hyoglossus. Laterally, in between the hyoglossus muscle and the mylohyoid muscle lay several important structures (from superior in inferior): sublingual gland, submandibular duct, lingual nerve, vena comitans of hypoglossal nerve, and the hypoglossal nerve. Note, posteriorly, the lingual nerve is superior to the submandibular duct and a portion of the submandibular salivary gland protrudes into the space between the hyoglossus and mylohyoid muscles.


The hyoglossus depresses and retracts the tongue makes the dorsum more convex

Society and culture

It is important in singing.

Additional images


This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.

External links

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