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[stuhm-uh k] /ˈstʌm ək/
Anatomy, Zoology.
  1. a saclike enlargement of the alimentary canal, as in humans and certain animals, forming an organ for storing, diluting, and digesting food.
  2. such an organ or an analogous portion of the alimentary canal when divided into two or more sections or parts.
  3. any one of these sections.
Zoology. any analogous digestive cavity or tract in invertebrates.
the part of the body containing the stomach; belly or abdomen.
appetite for food.
desire, inclination, or liking:
I have no stomach for this trip.
  1. spirit; courage.
  2. pride; haughtiness.
  3. resentment; anger.
verb (used with object)
to endure or tolerate (someone or something):
I can't stomach your constant nagging.
Obsolete. to be offended at or resent.
Origin of stomach
1300-50; Middle English stomak < Latin stomachus gullet, stomach < Greek stómachos orig., opening; akin to stoma
7. bear, stand, abide, countenance. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for stomach
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He whirled to receive the muzzle of a revolver in his stomach.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • There was a wild yell; Andrew was stopped in mid-air by a rifle thrust into his stomach.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • And sometimes I have sharp pains in the stomach, as if I had the colic.

  • I shouldn't wonder a mite if you'd got some o' them stomach troubles along with your cold.

    Meadow Grass Alice Brown
  • Within a few minutes began to have fearful pains in stomach, followed by cramps.

    Johnny Bear E. T. Seton
British Dictionary definitions for stomach


(in vertebrates) the enlarged muscular saclike part of the alimentary canal in which food is stored until it has been partially digested and rendered into chyme related adjective gastric
the corresponding digestive organ in invertebrates
the abdominal region
desire, appetite, or inclination: I have no stomach for arguments
an archaic word for temper
an obsolete word for pride
verb (transitive; used mainly in negative constructions)
to tolerate; bear: I can't stomach his bragging
to eat or digest: he cannot stomach oysters
Word Origin
C14: from Old French stomaque, from Latin stomachus (believed to be the seat of the emotions), from Greek stomakhos, from stoma mouth
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 stomach

c.1300, "internal pouch into which food is digested," from Old French estomac, from Latin stomachus "stomach, throat," also "pride, inclination, indignation" (which were thought to have their origin in that organ), from Greek stomachos "throat, gullet, esophagus," literally "mouth, opening," from stoma "mouth" (see stoma). Applied to the openings of various internal organs, especially the stomach, then to the stomach itself. Some 16c. anatomists tried to correct the sense back to "esophagus" and introduce ventricle for what we call the stomach. Meaning "belly, midriff, part of the body that contains the stomach" is from late 14c. Figurative senses in Latin extended into Middle English (cf. "relish, inclination, desire," 1510s). Stomach ache is from 1763.


"to tolerate, put up with," 1570s, from stomach (n.), probably in reference to digestion; earlier sense was opposite: "to be offended at, resent" (1520s), from Latin stomachari "to be resentful," from stomachus (n.) in its secondary sense of "pride, indignation." Related: Stomached; stomaching.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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stomach in Medicine

stomach stom·ach (stŭm'ək)
The enlarged saclike portion of the digestive tract between the esophagus and small intestine, lying just beneath the diaphragm.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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stomach in Science
  1. A saclike muscular organ in vertebrate animals that stores and breaks down ingested food. Food enters the stomach from the esophagus and passes to the small intestine through the pylorus. Glands in the stomach secrete hydrochloric acid and the digestive enzyme pepsin.

  2. A similar digestive structure of many invertebrates.

  3. Any of the four compartments into which the stomach of a ruminant is divided (the rumen, reticulum, omasum, or abomasum).

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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stomach in Culture

stomach definition

An organ in the digestive system, on the left side of the body behind the lower rib cage, that receives chewed food from the esophagus. Tiny glands in the stomach's lining secrete gastric juice, which contains acids, mucus, and enzymes. This fluid, along with the muscular churning actions of the stomach, helps transform food into a thick, semifluid mass that can be passed into the small intestine for digestion.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for stomach



To tolerate: can't stomach her inaneness

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with stomach
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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