[ kol-ik ]
/ ˈkɒl ɪk /
Pathology, Veterinary Pathology


paroxysmal pain in the abdomen or bowels.


pertaining to or affecting the colon or the bowels.

Nearby words

  1. coli-,
  2. colibacillemia,
  3. colibacillosis,
  4. colibacilluria,
  5. colibacillus,
  6. colic artery,
  7. colicin,
  8. colicinogen,
  9. colicky,
  10. colicroot

Origin of colic

1400–50; late Middle English colike (< Middle French colique) < Latin colica (passiō) (suffering) of the colon < Greek kolikós, equivalent to kól(on) colon2 + -ikos -ic

Related formscol·ick·y, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for colic

British Dictionary definitions for colic


/ (ˈkɒlɪk) /


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

Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for colic



"disease characterized by severe abdominal pain," early 15c., from Late Latin colicus "pertaining to colic," from Greek kolikos, belonging to the kolon "lower intestine" (see colon (n.2)). The word was used in English late 14c. as an adjective, "affecting the colon." Related: Colicky (1742).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for colic


[ kŏlĭk ]


Spasmodic pains in the abdomen.
Paroxysms of pain with crying and irritability in young infants, due to a variety of causes, such as swallowing air, emotional upset, or overfeeding.


Relating to the colon.

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

Science definitions for colic


[ kŏlĭk ]

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