A palpatory technique for detecting or examining a floating object in the body, as:
a. The use of a finger to push sharply against the uterus and detect the presence or position of a fetus by its return impact.
b. Palpation of the abdominal wall while a kidney is being pushed sharply from the backside, used as a test for determining the presence of a floating kidney.
[French, from ballotter, to toss, from Italian ballotta, diminutive of dialectal balla, ball; see BALLOON.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
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