[ kol-ik ]
See synonyms for colic on
  1. Also called in·fan·tile col·ic [in-fuhn-tahyl kol-ik], /ˈɪn fənˌtaɪl ˈkɒl ɪk/, infant colic .Pathology. a common, temporary condition in which a baby who is otherwise healthy cries repeatedly, excessively, and inconsolably, without apparent cause: To help create more awareness about colic, the doctors are writing a book for parents with fussy babies.

  2. Pathology, Veterinary Pathology. paroxysmal pain in the abdomen or bowels: If a gallstone blocks one of the bile ducts, it can cause sudden, severe abdominal pain, known as biliary colic.

  1. relating to or affecting the colon or the bowels: Colorectal cancer surgeons must have a good understanding of how colic arteries can differ among people.

Origin of colic

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English colike, from Middle French colique, Latin colica (passiō) “colonic (suffering),” from Greek kolikós “of the colon,” from kól(on) colon2 + -ikos -ic;cf. colonic

Other words from colic

  • col·ick·y, adjective

Words Nearby colic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use colic in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for colic


/ (ˈkɒlɪk) /

  1. a condition characterized by acute spasmodic abdominal pain, esp that caused by inflammation, distention, etc, of the gastrointestinal tract

Origin of colic

C15: from Old French colique, from Late Latin cōlicus ill with colic, from Greek kōlon, variant of kolon colon ²

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

Scientific definitions for colic


[ kŏlĭk ]

  1. Severe abdominal pain, often caused by spasm, obstruction, or distention of any of the hollow viscera, such as the intestines.

  2. A condition seen in infants less than three months old, marked by periods of inconsolable crying lasting for hours at a time for at least three weeks. The cause is unknown.

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