Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

sternutation

play
noun ster·nu·ta·tion \ˌstər-nyə-ˈtā-shən\

Definition of sternutation

  1. :  the act or noise of sneezing



Did You Know?

Sternutation comes from Latin and is a descendant of the verb sternuere, meaning "to sneeze." One of the earliest known English uses occurred in a 16th-century edition of a book on midwifery, in a passage about infants suffering from frequent "sternutation and sneesynge." The term has long been used in serious medical contexts, but also on occasion for humorous effect. In 1850, for example, author Grace Greenwood observed that U.S. senators from opposing political parties would often come together to share snuff: "And all three forget their sectional differences in a delightful concert of sternutation. No business is too grave, no speaker too eloquent, to be 'sneezed at.'"

Origin of sternutation

Middle English sternutacion, from Latin sternutation-, sternutatio, from sternutare to sneeze, frequentative of sternuere to sneeze; akin to Greek ptarnysthai to sneeze


First Known Use: 15th century


Medical Dictionary

sternutation

play
noun ster·nu·ta·tion \ˌstər-nyə-ˈtā-shən\

Medical Definition of sternutation

  1. :  the act, fact, or noise of sneezing




Learn More about sternutation

  1. Medical Dictionary: Definition of "sternutation"


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up sternutation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a timid, meek, or unassertive person

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

disapprove soothe perplex reduce
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ