- Bowel sounds, the gurgling, rumbling, or growling noise from the abdomen caused by the muscular contractions of peristalsis, the process that moves the contents of the stomach and intestines downward. The plural is borborygmi. Bowel sounds are normal. Their absence can indicate intestinal obstruction. Bowel sounds may also be temporarily absent after abdominal surgery. The word "borborygmus" has been rumbling around the English language for some 200 years. Its earliest known use in English dates to 1796. The word arrived from New Latin, but traces its way back to the Greek "borboryzein," which means "to rumble."
* * *Rumbling or gurgling noises produced by movement of gas, fluid, or both in the alimentary canal, and audible at a distance. [G. borborygmos, rumbling in the bowels]
* * *bor·bo·ryg·mus .bȯr-bə-'rig-məs n, pl -mi -.mī a rumbling sound made by the movement of gas in the intestinebor·bo·ryg·mic -mik adj
* * *n. (pl. borborygmi)an abdominal gurgle due to movement of fluid and gas in the intestine. Excessive borborygmi occur when intestinal movement is increased, for example in the irritable bowel syndrome and in intestinal obstruction, or when there is more intestinal gas than normal.
* * *bor·bo·ryg·mus (bor″bə-rigґməs) pl. borborygґmi [L.] a rumbling noise caused by the propulsion of gas through the intestines.
Medical dictionary. 2011.