- : Regurgitating food after a meal and then swallowing and digesting some of it. Cattle and other ruminant animals have a four-chambered stomach for the rumination of food and so can chew their cud. Some people, particularly infants, engage in something similar by regurgitating food after a meal and then swallowing and digesting some of it. Obsessive rumination is the preoccupation with certain thoughts.
* * *1. The physiologic process in ruminant animals in which coarse, hastily eaten food is regurgitated from the rumen, thoroughly rechewed, reduced to finer particles, mixed with saliva, and reswallowed. 2. A disorder of infancy characterized by repeated regurgitation of food, with weight loss or failure to thrive, developing after a period of normal functioning. 3. Periodic reconsideration of the same subject. [L. ruminatio, fr. rumino, to chew the cud, think over, fr. rumen, throat]
* * *ru·mi·na·tion .rü-mə-'nā-shən n the act or process of ruminating:a) the act or process of regurgitating and chewing again previously swallowed foodb) obsessive or abnormal reflection upon an idea or deliberation over a choice
* * *n.(in psychiatry) an obsessional type of thinking in which the same thoughts or themes are experienced repetitively, to the exclusion of other forms of mental activity. The patient commonly feels depressed and guilty after rumination. Rumination may be distinguished from morbid preoccupation in that the thoughts are irrational and resisted by the patient; they often involve abhorrent or aggressive feelings about events in the remote past and are accompanied by a lack of confidence in memory.
* * *ru·mi·na·tion (roo″mĭ-naґshən) [L. ruminare to think over] 1. in ruminants, the casting up of food (called cud) out of the rumen and chewing of it a second time; called also cudding. 2. in humans, the regurgitation of food after almost every meal, part of it being vomited and the rest swallowed; sometimes seen in infants (rumination disorder) or in mentally retarded individuals. 3. repeated, excessive thinking about an event or situation.
Medical dictionary. 2011.