One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An abnormal sound heard during auscultation of the chest, having a musical quality with either a high pitch (more fully "sibilant rhonchus") or a low pitch (more fully "sonorous rhonchus"), and typically associated with obstruction or narrowing of the bronchi.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in John Forbes (1787–1861), physician and medical journalist. From French rhonchus from classical Latin rhonchus (also ronchus (2nd cent. a.d.)) from Byzantine Greek ῥόγχος (apparently only recorded as a Greek word in the Latin medical writer Caelius Aurelianus; compare Hellenistic Greek ῥογχασμός (Galen)), variant of ancient Greek ῥέγχος (also ῥέκχος) snoring from the same base as ῥέγχειν (also ῥέκχειν) to snore, probably from the same Indo-European base as Early Irish sreinnid snores.
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