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death rattle

a sound produced by a person immediately preceding death, resulting from the passage of air through the mucus in the throat.
Origin of death rattle
1820-30 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for death-rattle
Historical Examples
  • That was all—a warning, a groan, the death-rattle in the shadows by the bed.

    Lorraine Robert W. Chambers
  • The sick man laughed a ghost of a laugh—it was half a death-rattle.

    The People Of The Mist H. Rider Haggard
  • Inside, on the floor, lay a poor old woman, the death-rattle in whose throat proclaimed that her end was fast approaching.

  • All social powers covered the death-rattle of the victims by their applause.

  • He was weary at heart riding over sickly flowers; he wanted flesh and bones and the music of the death-rattle.

    The Adventures of Kathlyn Harold MacGrath
  • "I can hear the death-rattle in your father's throat," he said almost angrily.

    Father Goriot Honore de Balzac
  • The noise they make is exactly like the death-rattle of a dying man.

    From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan Helena Pretrovna Blavatsky
  • I had but heard his voice in groans that ended in the death-rattle.

    Who Goes There? Blackwood Ketcham Benson
  • Must Kultur rear its domes over mountains of corpses, oceans of tears, and the death-rattle of the conquered?

  • They reached her just in time to hear the death-rattle in her throat.

    The Oregon Trail Francis Parkman, Jr.
British Dictionary definitions for death-rattle

death rattle

a low-pitched gurgling sound sometimes made by a dying person, caused by air passing through an accumulation of mucus in the trachea
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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death-rattle in Medicine

death rattle n.
A gurgling or rattling sound sometimes made in the throat of a dying person, caused by loss of the cough reflex and passage of the breath through accumulating mucus.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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