snoring, rough, vibratory sounds made in breathing during sleep or coma. The noisy breathing is the result of an open mouth and a relaxation of the palate; it is frequently induced by lying on one's back. Snoring may indicate some obstruction to nasal breathing such as enlarged adenoids; this is especially true in children. In some individuals it is merely a poor breathing habit and usually disappears when the person lies on his side.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.