The levator veli palatini (/lɨˈveɪtər ˈviːlaɪ ˌpæləˈtaɪnaɪ/) is the elevator muscle of the soft palate in the human body. During swallowing, it contracts, elevating the soft palate to help prevent food from entering the nasopharynx. It is innervated via the pharyngeal plexus, primarily by the pharyngeal branch of the vagus nerve (CN X).
The levator veli palatini (Levator palati) is a thick, rounded muscle situated lateral to the choanæ.
It arises from the under surface of the apex of the petrous part of the temporal bone and from the medial lamina of the cartilage of the auditory tube.
After passing above the upper concave margin of the Constrictor pharyngis superior muscle it spreads out in the palatine velum, its fibers extending obliquely downward and medially to the middle line, where they blend with those of the opposite side.