Usually intestines. the lower part of the alimentary canal, extending from the pylorus to the anus.
Also called small intestine. the narrow, longer part of the intestines, comprising the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum, that serves to digest and absorb nutrients.
Also called large intestine. the broad, shorter part of the intestines, comprising the cecum, colon, and rectum, that absorbs water from and eliminates the residues of digestion.


internal; domestic; civil: intestine strife.

Nearby words

  1. intestinal fortitude,
  2. intestinal gland,
  3. intestinal lipodystrophy,
  4. intestinal stasis,
  5. intestinal villus,
  6. intestines,
  7. inthral,
  8. inthrone,
  9. inti,
  10. intice

Origin of intestine

1525–35; < Latin intestīnum, noun use of neuter of intestīnus internal, equivalent to intes- (variant of intus inside) + -tīnus adj. suffix; cf. vespertine Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for intestines

British Dictionary definitions for intestines



(usually plural) the part of the alimentary canal between the stomach and the anusSee large intestine, small intestine Related adjective: alvine
Derived Formsintestinal (ɪnˈtɛstɪnəl, ˌɪntɛsˈtaɪnəl), adjectiveintestinally, adverb

Word Origin for intestine

C16: from Latin intestīnum gut, from intestīnus internal, from intus within

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 intestines
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for intestines




The portion of the alimentary canal extending from the stomach to the anus and, in humans and other mammals, consisting of two segments, the small intestine and the large intestine. Often used in the plural.

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

Science definitions for intestines



The muscular tube that forms the part of the digestive tract extending from the stomach to the anus and consisting of the small and large intestines. In the intestine, nutrients and water from digested food are absorbed and waste products are solidified into feces. See also large intestine small intestine.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for intestines


The part of the gastrointestinal tract that extends from the stomach to the anus. The intestines are further subdivided into the large intestine and small intestine. (See digestive system.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.