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October 1, 2022

Sternutatory / noun / ster·​nu·​ta·​to·​ry

We use sternutatory as a noun in English. The definition of sternutatory is "pertaining to the action or process of breathing in, typically through the nose." Medical professionals also use the term to describe medically inducing a sneeze.

Doctors say sneezing is one of the body's most essential functions. Sneezing helps keep allergens and toxins from entering the nose. Most people will sneeze on their own to expel foreign material through the nose. When something hinders this response, allergy-related conditions can result.

In a Sentence

The doctors explained to the patient how they would induce the sternutatory response to release the object he had lodged in his nose since he could not sneeze on his own.

Most people can sneeze on their own without help, and others have their sternutatory response activated by an allergist or family practitioner.

They induced the sternutatory response in patients who were having trouble sneezing on their own when they were tested for sensitivity to local tree allergens.


The word sternutatory is derived from a combination of Latin and Middle English words that mean "to sneeze." Sternutatory is related to the word sternutation, which is another way of saying the word “sneeze.” These terms are not often used in everyday language, but medical professionals frequently use them to describe the process of medically inducing a sneeze.


Sneeze, Sternutation


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