[il-ee-uh m]
noun, plural il·e·a [il-ee-uh] /ˈɪl i ə/.
  1. Anatomy. the third and lowest division of the small intestine, extending from the jejunum to the cecum.
  2. Zoology. the anterior portion of the hindgut of an insect or other arthropod.

Origin of ileum

1675–85; < New Latin, Medieval Latin īleum, variant of Latin īlia (neuter plural) side of the body between hips and groin, guts, apparently by confusion with Latin īleus ileus
Related formsil·e·al, adjective
Can be confusedileum ilium Ilium Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for ilea

duodenum, ileum, jejunum, villus

British Dictionary definitions for ilea


n acronym for (formerly)
  1. Inner London Education Authority


  1. the part of the small intestine between the jejunum and the caecum
  2. the corresponding part in insects

Word Origin for ileum

C17: New Latin, from Latin īlium, īleum flank, groin, of obscure origin
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 ilea



lowest part of the small intestine, 1680s, medical Latin, from ileum, singular created from classical Latin plural ilia "groin, flank," in classical Latin, "belly, the abdomen below the ribs," poetically, "entrails, guts." Sense restriction and form apparently from confusion with Greek eileos (see ileus). Earlier in English ylioun (late 14c.), from Medieval Latin ileon. Related: Ileitis.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ilea in Medicine


n. pl. il•e•a (-ē-ə)
  1. The third and terminal portion of the small intestine, extending from the jejunum to the cecum.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

ilea in Science


Plural ilea
  1. The lower part of the small intestine, connecting the jejunum to the cecum of the large intestine.
Related formsileal adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.