Webster 1913 Edition



pl. E.
, L.
[L., fr.
to blow.]
A breath; a puff of wind.
Gas generated in the stomach, intestine, or other cavities of the body.

Webster 1828 Edition



[L. from flo, to blow.]
A breath; a puff of wind.
Wind generated in the stomach or other cavities of the body; flatulence.

Definition 2022





flatus (countable and uncountable, plural flatuses or flatus)

  1. (uncountable) Gas generated in the digestive tract.
  2. (countable) Expulsion of such gas through the anus.
    • 1940: Walter Robson Humphries, William Ogilvie and the Projected Union of the Colleges, 1786–1787, p70
      The point of quoque with illos is that those flatus, which have the right to be called winds, are also subject to laws like the winds themselves.
    • 2006: Steve Nichols, TARO of the FOUR WORLDS, p139 (ISBN 1874603073)
      And as they perceived in her sundry natures, and divers properties, so they ascribed unto her divers and several names, and erected Statues and Altars unto her, according to those names, under which they then so worshipped and adored her, who (as I have already written) was with many taken and understood for Juno: and those flatus and images which were dedicated unto her, were made also many times of many other goddesses: whose properties signified them to be in nature the same as the earth, as first Lagran Madre, la Madre de i dei, Ope (Ops), Phes, Cibelle, Vesta, Ceres, Proserpina, and many others which of their places and habitations where they then remained, had their names accordingly, all signifying one & the same thing, being as I have said, the Earth, for which indeed, & from whose fruits, all things here in the world seem to receive their life and being, and are nourished & conserved by these fertileness thereof, and in this respect she was called the mother of the gods, insomuch, as all those gods of the Ancients, which were so superstitiously adored and held in that respective regardance, lived here once on the earth, and were fed and maintained by the increases, fruits, & suppeditaments thereof.
    • 2007: Harold John Cook, Matters of Exchange: Commerce, Medicine, and Science in the Dutch Golden Age, p373 (ISBN 9780300117967)
      A long summary of the work quickly appeared in the Royal Society’s Philosophical Transactions, which began with the theory Ten Rhijne’s had adapted from his Japanese colleagues: “This Author treating of the Gout, … asserts Flatus or Wind included between the Periosteum and the bone to be the genuine producer of those intolerable Pains … and that all the method of cure ought to tend toward the dispelling those Flatus”.156
  3. (obsolete) Morbid inflation or swelling.
    • 1730 April, Jonathan Swift, "A Vindication of the Lord Carteret", in Thomas Sheridan and John Nichols (Eds.), The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift, D.D., Dean of St. Patrick’s, Dublin, Volume IX, J. Johnson &c. (1801), page 226,
      […] an incensed political surgeon, who is not in much renown for his mercy, upon great provocations: who, without waiting for his death, will flay and dissect him alive; and to the view of mankind lay open all the disordered cells of his brain, the venom of his tongue, the corruption of his heart, and spots and flatuses of his spleen: and all this for threepence.


Derived terms



  1. Unabridged (v 1·1)
  2. 1 2 The Concise Oxford English Dictionary [Eleventh Edition]
  3. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition




From flō.


  • (Classical) IPA(key): /ˈflaː.tus/, [ˈfɫaː.tʊs]


flātus m (genitive flātūs); fourth declension

  1. blowing, breathing, snorting
  2. breath; breeze
  3. soul (breath of life)


Fourth declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative flātus flātūs
genitive flātūs flātuum
dative flātuī flātibus
accusative flātum flātūs
ablative flātū flātibus
vocative flātus flātūs

Related terms