from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Reduction or lessening of a swelling, especially the restoration of a swollen organ or part to normal size.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act of subsiding from a swollen state, especially the relaxation of an erect penis.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Diminution of swelling; subsidence of anything swollen.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Diminution of swelling: opposed to intumescence.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. diminution of swelling; the subsidence of anything swollen


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

From Latin dētumēscere, to subside : dē-, de- + tumēscere, to swell, inchoative of tumēre; see teuə- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

de- + tumescence


  • In the past, it had always ended with Billy's orgasm, followed by detumescence, a poorly aimed kiss near the ear, a slipping away into stertorous sleep.


  • “Give me, give me, give me, give me detumescence…”


  • The social and civil wars preparing the ground for the final flowering of the Republic and its detumescence with the decapitation of Cicero, to be replaced by the bloodswollen priapism of the Empire...

    HBO's Rome S2 Ep 8

  • The deep connections between Shelley's satire and contemporary political events cannot be overlooked, for both Caroline of Brunswick and the play’s heroine, Iona Taurina, function as highly visible emblems of the mother-whore, that revolutionary icon of the woman-in-public whose very presence threatens to feminize the public sphere and thus to hasten the collapsethe detumescence, to borrow an image central to Shelley's playof masculine, patriarchal order.


  • The foolishness begins immediately on detumescence, amusing questions like, what kind of word has gone out to keep everybody away from Geli but me?

    Gravity's Rainbow

  • The shift in autonomic, nervous control causes the reversal of circulation and the detumescence of the swollen organs in both sexes.

    Come, Come Now

  • Until the climax of the sexual erethism, woman is for man the acme of supreme desire; but with detumescence the emotions tend to swing to the opposite pole, and excitement and longing are forgotten in the mood of repugnance and exhaustion.

    Taboo and Genetics A Study of the Biological, Sociological and Psychological Foundation of the Family

  • Regarding the phenomena of detumescence, we must not hold them to be necessarily morbid when they make their appearance during the last years of the second period of childhood; but when this occurs earlier, during the tenth or eleventh year of life for instance, some suspicion may reasonably be aroused.

    The Sexual Life of the Child

  • This applies equally to both components of the sexual impulse, to the phenomena of detumescence as well as to those of contrectation.

    The Sexual Life of the Child

  • -- This is a typical example of the primary awakening of the contrectation impulse, and the secondary superposition of the phenomena of detumescence.

    The Sexual Life of the Child


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  • January 5, 2007