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intubation (in-tew-bay-shŏn) n. the introduction of a tube into part of the body for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment. endotracheal i. introduction of an endotracheal tube to maintain an airway in an unconscious or anaesthetized patient. gastric i. intubation performed to keep the stomach empty during and after abdominal surgery or to provide feeding and drugs when the patient is unable to swallow.