• synonyms


[mes-uh n-ter-ee, mez-]
noun, plural mes·en·ter·ies. Anatomy.
  1. the membrane, consisting of a double layer of peritoneum, that invests the intestines, attaching them to the posterior wall of the abdomen, maintaining them in position in the abdominal cavity, and supplying them with blood vessels, nerves, and lymphatics, especially the part of this membrane investing the jejunum and ileum.
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Origin of mesentery

1375–1425; late Middle English < New Latin mesenterium < Greek mesentérion (equivalent to mes- mes- + entérion, neuter of entérios of the bowel); see enteron
Related formsmes·en·ter·ic, adjectivein·ter·mes·en·ter·ic, adjectivepost·mes·en·ter·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mesentery

Historical Examples

  • The veins of the omentum, mesentery, and intestines, were full of blood.

    Cases of Organic Diseases of the Heart

    John Collins Warren

  • The other edge of the mesentery is gathered up as you have gathered the ruffle.

  • The mesentery is a delicate, narrow membrane about twenty feet long.

  • The mesentery, stomach and intestines were excessively thin and transparent.

    Fasting Girls

    William Alexander Hammond

  • Unfold this tube, separating it from its enveloping membrane, the mesentery.

British Dictionary definitions for mesentery


noun plural -teries
  1. the double layer of peritoneum that is attached to the back wall of the abdominal cavity and supports most of the small intestine
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Derived Formsmesenteric, adjective

Word Origin

C16: from New Latin mesenterium; see meso- + enteron
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 mesentery


fold of the peritoneum, early 15c., from medical Latin mesenterium "middle of the intestine," from medical Greek mesenterion, from mesos "middle" (see medial (adj.)) + enteron "intestine" (see enteric). Related: Mesenteric.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mesentery in Medicine


  1. A double layer of peritoneum attached to the abdominal wall and enclosing in its fold certain organs of the abdominal viscera.
  2. A fold of the peritoneum that connects the intestines to the dorsal abdominal wall, especially such a fold that envelops the jejunum and ileum.
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Related formsmes′en•teric adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.