[il-ee-uh s]

noun Pathology.

intestinal obstruction characterized by lack of peristalsis and leading to severe colicky pain and vomiting.

Origin of ileus

1700–10; < Latin īleus colic < Greek eileós, equivalent to eile- (stem of eílein to roll) + -os noun suffix Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ileus

Historical Examples of ileus

  • In respect to the introsusception and hernia, see Ileus, Class I. 3.

    Zoonomia, Vol. II

    Erasmus Darwin

  • That is natural, but it is a shock to have him here described as son of Ileus.

  • The son of Ileus is "Ajax the less," a hero of the second rank.

  • Is the seat or cause of the ileus always below the valve of the colon, and that of the cholera above it?

    Zoonomia, Vol. II

    Erasmus Darwin

  • Whence it appears, that the enteritis with hard quick pulse differs from Ileus, described in Class I. 3.

    Zoonomia, Vol. II

    Erasmus Darwin

British Dictionary definitions for ileus



obstruction of the intestine, esp the ileum, by mechanical occlusion or as the result of distension of the bowel following loss of muscular action

Word Origin for ileus

C18: from Latin īleos severe colic, from Greek eileos a rolling, twisting, from eilein to roll
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 ileus

painful intestinal condition, 1706, from Latin ileus "severe colic," from Greek ileos "colic," from eilein "to turn, squeeze," from PIE *wel- "to turn, roll" (see volvox).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ileus in Medicine




Intestinal obstruction causing severe colicky pain, vomiting, constipation, and often fever and dehydration.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.