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Etymology: L, oralis, pertaining to the mouth, temperatura
the body temperature as recorded by a clinical thermometer placed in the mouth. It is normally around 98.6° F (37° C), but it may vary within a fraction of a degree, depending on the individual and such factors as time of day, sleep, and exercise and whether measured before or after a meal. See also normal temperature.
The temperature obtained by placing a thermometer under the patient's tongue with lips closed for 3 min or by electronic thermometer for the length of time noted on the readout or the manufacturer's direction.See: Temperature: Oral
It should not be taken for at least 20 min after ingestion of hot or cold liquids. It is not advisable for infants, those who breathe through the mouth, the comatose or obtunded patients, or the critically ill.
See also: temperature