[ bou-uh l, boul ]
/ ˈbaʊ əl, baʊl /


  1. Usually bowels. the intestine.
  2. a part of the intestine.
  1. the inward or interior parts: the bowels of the earth.
  2. Archaic. feelings of pity or compassion.

verb (used with object), bow·eled, bow·el·ing or (especially British) bow·elled, bow·el·ling.

to disembowel.

Origin of bowel

1250–1300; Middle English b(o)uel < Old French < Latin botellus little sausage (bot(ulus) sausage + -ellus -elle)

Related forms

bow·el·less, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bowels

British Dictionary definitions for bowels


/ (ˈbaʊəl) /


an intestine, esp the large intestine in man
(plural) innards; entrails
(plural) the deep or innermost part (esp in the phrase the bowels of the earth)
(plural) archaic the emotions, esp of pity or sympathy

Word Origin for bowel

C13: from Old French bouel, from Latin botellus a little sausage, from botulus sausage
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

Medicine definitions for bowels


[ bouəl, boul ]


The intestine. Often used in the plural.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for bowels


[ bouəl ]

The intestine.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.