[ en-ter-ik ]
/ ɛnˈtɛr ɪk /
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of or relating to the enteron; intestinal.
enterics, Bacteriology. enterobacteria.
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Origin of enteric

From the Greek word enterikós, dating back to 1865–70. See enter-, -ic


non·en·ter·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does enteric mean?

Enteric is a medical term that means within, by way of, or related to the intestines.

A much more common word for this is intestinal. A close synonym is enteral.

Enteric-coated pills are those that have a coating that’s designed not to wear away until after the pill passes through the stomach and reaches the small intestine, where it will then release the medicine.

The names of some medical conditions include the term enteric. Enteric fever is another name for typhoid fever (which involves intestinal inflammation and ulceration).

The plural noun enterics refers to bacteria that live in the intestines, also called enterobacteria.

The related word enteron is a technical name for the digestive tract or the gastrointestinal tract, which includes the intestines.

Example: The enteric nervous system controls the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract.

Where does enteric come from?

The word enteric comes from the Greek enterikós, from enteron, meaning “intestine.” The root entero- is used in many words related to the intestines, such as enterology (the branch of medicine dealing with the intestines).

Within the medical field, the term enteric is used to describe a range of different things either found in or related to the intestines, especially the small intestine. Bacteria that live in the gut can be called enterics or enteric bacteria. Enteric can also mean “by way of the intestines.” Enteric-coated medicine is designed to withstand the gastric juices in the stomach and be released in the intestines.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to enteric?

  • nonenteric (adjective)
  • enterally (adverb)

What are some synonyms for enteric?

What are some words that share a root or word element with enteric

What are some words that often get used in discussing enteric?

How is enteric used in real life?

Enteric is used in a medical context.



Try using enteric!

True or False? 

Enteric means the same thing as intestinal.

How to use enteric in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for enteric


enteral (ˈɛntərəl)

/ (ɛnˈtɛrɪk) /


Derived forms of enteric

enterally, adverb

Word Origin for enteric

C19: from Greek enterikos, from enteron intestine
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

Medical definitions for enteric

[ ĕn-tĕrĭk ]

Of, relating to, or within the intestine.
By way of the intestine; enteral.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.