Definition of gavage in English:


Pronunciation /ɡəˈväZH/ /ɡəˈvɑʒ/


  • The administration of food or drugs by force, especially to an animal, typically through a tube leading down the throat to the stomach.

    ‘The test substance is usually administered orally by gavage using a stomach tube or a suitable intubation cannula.’
    • ‘The rats were administered orange oil by gavage till the end of experiments.’
    • ‘The reason that we did not treat the animals immediately after the nerve repair was to avoid the loosening of suture line on the skin caused by grasping the animals for gavage, which might cause serious inflammatory reactions.’
    • ‘If an infant is being fed by gavage, it is better to supplement by mixing breast milk with formula because the breast milk contains lipases that help with fat absorption.’
    • ‘Whether feeding by gavage, nippling formula, or expressed human milk, or feeding directly at breast, the infant's behavioral state and neuroregulatory system should be taken into account.’


Late 19th century French, from gaver ‘force-feed’, from a base meaning ‘throat’.