de·​glu·​ti·​tion ˌdē-glü-ˈti-shən How to pronounce deglutition (audio)
: the act or process of swallowing

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Deglutition comes to us from the French word déglutition, which is derived from the Latin verb deglutire, meaning "to swallow down." "Deglutire," in turn, derives from de- and glutire, a verb meaning "to swallow." "Deglutition" is a fairly rare word these days, but it has a relative in English that is quite familiar: the noun glutton, meaning "one who eats to excess." "Glutton" comes from a Latin word ("glutto") that is related to "glutire."

Word History


French déglutition, from Latin deglutire to swallow down, from de- + glutire, gluttire to swallow — more at glutton

First Known Use

1650, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of deglutition was in 1650


Dictionary Entries Near deglutition

Cite this Entry

“Deglutition.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition


de·​glu·​ti·​tion ˌdē-ˌglü-ˈtish-ən How to pronounce deglutition (audio) ˌdeg-ˌlü- How to pronounce deglutition (audio)
: the act, power, or process of swallowing

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