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See also: déglutition



A real-time MRI of a person in the process of deglutition, swallowing pineapple juice

Borrowed from French déglutition or from Late Latin dēglūtītiō, from Latin dēglūtīre,[1] dēgluttīre + -tiō (suffix forming nouns relating to actions or the results of actions). Dēgluttīre is derived from dēgluttiō (to swallow down), from dē- (prefix meaning ‘from, off’) + gluttiō (to gulp down, swallow) (from Proto-Indo-European *gʷel- (throat)).



deglutition (countable and uncountable, plural deglutitions)

  1. (physiology) The act or process of swallowing. [from mid 17th c.]
    Synonym: glutition
    • 1653, J[ohn] B[ulwer], “Lip Gallantry, or Certaine Labiall Fashions Invented by Divers Nations”, in Anthropometamorphosis: Man Transform’d: Or, The Artificiall Changling Historically Presented, [], London: Printed by William Hunt, OCLC 896193742, page 189:
      [T]he action of the gullet, that is deglutition, is performed and conſummated, the action being animall and partly Naturall.
    • 1742, [Herman] Boerhaave, “Of the Origin, Nature, and Mixture of the Saliva with the Aliments”, in Dr. Boerhaave’s Academical Lectures on the Theory of Physic. [], volume I (Containing the History of Physic, []), London: Printed for W. Innys, [], OCLC 938339039, § 70, page 170:
      The Uvula [] ſerves as an arched and ſlippery Bridge, exactly fitted every way to cover the convex Sides and Rima of the Glottis, for the Aliment to ſlide eaſily along in Deglutition; it prevents the Aliment from falling out of the Fauces into the Larynx in Deglutition; and being moved by its Muſcles, protruds the Aliment backward into the upper Part of the Fauces.
    • 1762, Anthony Storck [i.e., Anton von Störck], “Case VIII”, in An Essay on the Medicinal Nature of Hemlock. In Two Parts. [], Edinburgh: Printed for A. Donaldson and J. Reid, for Alex[ander] Donaldson, OCLC 723087741, part II, pages 108–109:
      A man of the age of twenty-ſeven had a tubercle at the root of his tongue, for about ſix years; [] Deglutitions were rendered extremely difficult.
    • 1847 October 16, Currer Bell [pseudonym; Charlotte Brontë], chapter VI, in Jane Eyre. An Autobiography. [], volume II, London: Smith, Elder, and Co., [], OCLC 3163777, page 174:
      Feeling without judgment is a washy draught indeed; but judgment untempered by feeling is too bitter and husky a morsel for human deglutition.
    • 1868, Horace Bushnell, “Of the Animal Infestations”, in Moral Uses of Dark Things, New York, N.Y.: Charles Scribner & Company, OCLC 4647088, pages 287–288:
      Sometimes they work by satire, as in the case of the ants here referred to; sometimes by terror, by spitefulness, by cunning stealthiness and tricks of decoy, by immense deglutitions, by any and all sorts of animal habits that connect, with prey, ferocities, voracities and disgusts that make it symbolic of evil.
    • 1909, W[illiam] H[enry] Hudson, “The Village and ‘The Stones’”, in Afoot in England, London: Hutchinson & Co. [], OCLC 31584816, page 251:
      Some philosopher has said that the chief pleasure in a man's life, as in that of a cow, consists in the processes of mastication, deglutition, and digestion, and I am very much inclined to agree with him.
    • 2008, Gerard J. Tortora; Bryan Derrickson, “The Digestive System”, in Principles of Anatomy and Physiology, 12th edition, Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley, →ISBN, page 935, column 2:
      The movement of food from the mouth into the stomach is achieved by the act of swallowing, or deglutition []. Deglutition is facilitated by the secretion of saliva and mucus and involves the mouth, pharynx, and esophagus.

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  1. ^ deglutition, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1894; “deglutition”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.

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