Share this entry

exsufflation Line breaks: ex|suf|fla¦tion
Pronunciation: /ˌɛksəˈfleɪʃ(ə)n/

Definition of exsufflation in English:


[mass noun]
1 Medicine The removal of material from a body cavity (especially the lung) by blowing: only 7.7% of patients required exsufflation or drainage
More example sentences
  • Modifications of the principle of exsufflation have been developed to increase the effectiveness of the method.
  • Throughout the duration of exsufflation the membrane valve in the three-way connector is activated.
  • Any delay in exsufflation and treatment can prove to be fatal.
2 rare The action or process of breathing out; exhalation.
Example sentences
  • The maximum flow reached during the exsufflation was analyzed.
  • After exsufflation of about 260 ml of air the pressure became negative.
  • The deflation starts simultaneously in both lungs, but after half a second, a limited exsufflation, a trapping slowly develops.
2.1 Theology The action of blowing as a form of exorcism or to symbolize renunciation of the devil: sometimes the exorcist used the rite of exsufflation
More example sentences
  • Allusion is here made to the rite of exsufflation which formed a part of the early baptismal service.
  • Luther retained the customary prebaptismal ceremonies of exsufflation, the giving of salt, and anointing.
  • The Church would neither exorcise the children of the faithful nor subject them to the rite of exsufflation.


Early 16th century: late Latin, from the verb exsufflare, from ex- 'out' + sufflare 'to blow'.

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day haughty
Pronunciation: ˈhôdē
arrogantly superior and disdainful