• synonyms


[verb dih-jest, dahy-; noun dahy-jest]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to convert (food) in the alimentary canal into absorbable form for assimilation into the system.
  2. to promote the digestion of (food).
  3. to obtain information, ideas, or principles from; assimilate mentally: to digest a pamphlet on nuclear waste.
  4. to arrange methodically in the mind; think over: to digest a plan.
  5. to bear with patience; endure.
  6. to arrange in convenient or methodical order; reduce to a system; classify.
  7. to condense, abridge, or summarize.
  8. Chemistry. to soften or disintegrate (a substance) by means of moisture, heat, chemical action, or the like.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to digest food.
  2. to undergo digestion, as food.
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  1. a collection or compendium, usually of literary, historical, legal, or scientific matter, especially when classified or condensed.
  2. Law.
    1. a systematic abstract of some body of law.
    2. the Digest,a collection in fifty books of excerpts, especially from the writings of the Classical Roman jurists, compiled by order of Justinian in the 6th century a.d.; the Pandects.
  3. Biochemistry. the product of the action of an enzyme on food or other organic material.
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Origin of digest

1350–1400; (v.) Middle English digesten < Latin dīgestus separated, dissolved (past participle of dīgerere), equivalent to dī- di-2 + ges- carry, bear (base of gerere) + -tus past participle suffix; (noun) Middle English: collection of laws < Late Latin dīgesta (plural), Latin: collection of writings, neuter plural of dīgestus, as above
Related formsdi·gest·ed·ly, adverbdi·gest·ed·ness, nounhalf-di·gest·ed, adjectivenon·di·gest·ing, adjectiveo·ver·di·gest, verbre·di·gest, verb (used with object)sem·i·di·gest·ed, adjectiveun·di·gest·ed, adjectiveun·di·gest·ing, adjectivewell-di·gest·ed, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for digest


verb (dɪˈdʒɛst, daɪ-)
  1. to subject (food) to a process of digestion
  2. (tr) to assimilate mentally
  3. chem to soften or disintegrate or be softened or disintegrated by the action of heat, moisture, or chemicals; decompose
  4. (tr) to arrange in a methodical or systematic order; classify
  5. (tr) to reduce to a summary
  6. (tr) archaic to tolerate
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noun (ˈdaɪdʒɛst)
  1. a comprehensive and systematic compilation of information or material, often condensed
  2. a magazine, periodical, etc, that summarizes news of current events
  3. a compilation of rules of law based on decided cases
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Word Origin

C14: from Late Latin dīgesta writings grouped under various heads, from Latin dīgerere to divide, from di- apart + gerere to bear


  1. Roman law an arrangement of excerpts from the writings and opinions of eminent lawyers, contained in 50 books compiled by order of Justinian in the sixth century ad
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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 digest


"collection of writing," late 14c., from Latin digesta, from neuter plural of digestus, literally "digested thing," noun use of past participle of digerere "to separate, divide, arrange," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + gerere "to carry" (see gest).

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"assimilate food in bowels," late 14c., from Latin digestus (see digest (n.)). Related: Digested; digesting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

digest in Medicine


(dī-jĕst, dĭ-)
  1. To convert food into simpler chemical compounds that can be absorbed and assimilated by the body, as by chemical and muscular action in the alimentary canal.
  2. To soften or disintegrate by means of chemical action, heat, or moisture.
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Related formsdi•gest′i•bili•ty n.di•gesti•ble adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.