rattle

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rattle

(răt′l)
n.
1. A rapid succession of short percussive sounds.
2. A device, such as a baby's toy, that produces short percussive sounds.
3. A rattling sound in the throat caused by obstructed breathing, especially near the time of death.
4. The series of horny structures at the end of a rattlesnake's tail.

rattle

Etymology: ME, ratelen
an abnormal sound heard by auscultation of the lungs in some forms of pulmonary disease. It consists of a coarse vibration more intense than a crackle, very much like a rhonchus, caused by the movement of moisture and the separation of the walls of small air passages during respiration.

rattle

Ethnomedicine
A device used in the Navajo and other Native American tribes to maintain rhythm during healing rituals.

Forensics
See Death rattle.
 
Paediatrics
An infant toy which, when shaken produces a rattling noise.

rattle

(răt′l) [ME. ratelen, to rattle]
A coarse crackle heard during auscultation of the chest. This finding suggests excessive airway secretions are present.

death rattle

A colloquial term for gurgling noises caused by movements of secretions in the upper airways with inspiration and expiration in dying patients.
References in periodicals archive ?
This skeleton rattled away in her cupboard for the rest of her days although she never admitted to its existence.
Steve discovered his gift when he was a youngster and always rattled away at breakneck speed - to the delight of his schoolpals and the despair of his teachers.
By contrast, the thoroughly authentic Sex Pistols rattled away, all the while being mowed down by the press and the government.