Definition of Singultus
Singultus: A rarely used medical word for an ordinary hiccup.
A hiccough is an extraordinary type of breathing movement involving a sudden intake of air (inspiration) due to an involuntary contraction of the diaphragm accompanied by closure of the vocal apparatus (glottis) of the larynx. A hiccough is also called a hiccup.
The abrupt inspiration is the result of a sudden contraction of the diaphragm. Closure of the glottis then halts the incoming air. The column of air strikes the closed glottis to produce the characteristic sound: a hiccup.
Hiccups are often rhythmic. They are usually just a minor nuisance, but prolonged hiccups can become a major medical problem.
The word "hiccup" was in use by 1530. It is an instance of onomatopoeia, the imitation of natural sounds by words.Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
Last Editorial Review: 4/27/2011 5:27:15 PM
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