bor·​bo·​ryg·​mus | \ ˌbȯr-bə-ˈrig-məs How to pronounce borborygmus (audio) \
plural borborygmi\ ˌbȯr-​bə-​ˈrig-​ˌmī How to pronounce borborygmus (audio) \

Definition of borborygmus

: intestinal rumbling caused by moving gas

Did You Know?

Unless you're a gastroenterologist, chances are you never knew there was a name for those loud gurglings your belly sometimes makes. And if in looking at the word, you thought it was just some crazy coinage invented by someone who thought the word matched the rumbling sound it represented, you'd be right, in a way. We picked it up from New Latin, but it traces to the Greek verb borboryzein, which means "to rumble." It is believed that the Greek verb was coined to imitate the digestive noises made by a stomach. "Borborygmus" has been part of English for at least 250 years; its earliest known use dates from around 1724.

First Known Use of borborygmus

circa 1724, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for borborygmus

New Latin, from Greek borborygmos, from borboryzein to rumble

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The first known use of borborygmus was circa 1724

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Cite this Entry

“Borborygmus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for borborygmus


bor·​bo·​ryg·​mus | \ ˌbȯr-bə-ˈrig-məs How to pronounce borborygmus (audio) \
plural borborygmi\ -​ˌmī How to pronounce borborygmus (audio) \

Medical Definition of borborygmus

: a rumbling sound made by the movement of gas in the intestine

Other Words from borborygmus

borborygmic \ -​mik How to pronounce borborygmus (audio) \ adjective

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