Word of the Day

Sunday, February 12, 2012

auscultation

\aw-skuhl-TEY-shuhn\ , noun;
1.
The act of listening to sounds within the body as a method of diagnosis.
Quotes:
Auscultation shows it clearly enough, once I had grown accustomed to his particular bodily sounds. It is a very valuable diagnostic tool, little known in England, I believe.
-- Patrick O'Brian, The Yellow Admiral
Even as he examined the cousins, he went on talking about the matter in a melancholy, resigned tone of voice, for he was such an expert in auscultation that he could simultaneously listen to a patient's interior, talk about something else, and dictate what he had heard to his assistant.
-- Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain
Origin:
The Latin roots of auscultation have been buried in English. The word auscultāre meant "to hear or to listen" from the root auris which meant "ear." The suffix -ion forms nouns from stems, as in communication and opinion.
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