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[il-ee-uh m] /ˈɪl i əm/
noun, plural ilea
[il-ee-uh] /ˈɪl i ə/ (Show IPA)
Anatomy. the third and lowest division of the small intestine, extending from the jejunum to the cecum.
Zoology. the anterior portion of the hindgut of an insect or other arthropod.
Origin of ileum
1675-85; < New Latin, Medieval Latin īleum, variant of Latin īlia (neuter plural) side of the body between hips and groin, guts, apparently by confusion with Latin īleus ileus
Related forms
ileal, adjective
Can be confused
ileum, ilium, Ilium. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for ileal


the part of the small intestine between the jejunum and the caecum
the corresponding part in insects
Word Origin
C17: New Latin, from Latin īlium, īleum flank, groin, of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ileal



lowest part of the small intestine, 1680s, medical Latin, from ileum, singular created from classical Latin plural ilia "groin, flank," in classical Latin, "belly, the abdomen below the ribs," poetically, "entrails, guts." Sense restriction and form apparently from confusion with Greek eileos (see ileus). Earlier in English ylioun (late 14c.), from Medieval Latin ileon. Related: Ileitis.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ileal in Medicine

ileal il·e·al (ĭl'ē-əl)
Of or relating to the ileum.

ileum il·e·um (ĭl'ē-əm)
n. pl. il·e·a (-ē-ə)
The third and terminal portion of the small intestine, extending from the jejunum to the cecum.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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ileal in Science
Plural ilea
The lower part of the small intestine, connecting the jejunum to the cecum of the large intestine.

ileal adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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