[ pan-kree-uhs, pang- ]
/ ˈpæn kri əs, ˈpæŋ- /
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noun Anatomy, Zoology.

a gland, situated near the stomach, that secretes a digestive fluid into the intestine through one or more ducts and also secretes the hormone insulin.



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Origin of pancreas

1570–80; <New Latin <Greek pánkreas sweetbread, equivalent to pan-pan- + kréas flesh, meat
pan·cre·at·ic [pan-kree-at-ik, pang-], /ˌpæn kriˈæt ɪk, ˌpæŋ-/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for pancreas

/ (ˈpæŋkrɪəs) /


a large elongated glandular organ, situated behind the stomach, that secretes insulin and pancreatic juice
pancreatic (ˌpæŋkrɪˈætɪk), adjective
C16: via New Latin from Greek pankreas, from pan- + kreas flesh
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 pancreas

[ păngkrē-əs ]

n. pl. pan•cre•a•ta (păng-krēə-tə)

A lobulated gland without a capsule, extending from the concavity of the duodenum to the spleen, consisting of a flattened head within the duodenal concavity, an elongated three-sided body extending across the abdomen, and a tail touching the spleen, and secreting insulin and glucagon internally and pancreatic juice externally into the intestine.
pan′cre•atic (păng′krē-ătĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for pancreas

[ păngkrē-əs ]

A long, irregularly shaped gland in vertebrate animals that is located behind the stomach and is part of the digestive system. It secretes hormones (insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin) into the bloodstream and digestive enzymes into the small intestine or gut. The pancreas also secretes sodium bicarbonate, which protects the lining of the intestine by neutralizing acids from the stomach.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for pancreas

[ (pang-kree-uhs, pan-kree-uhs) ]

A gland behind the stomach that functions in both the endocrine system and the digestive system. Its endocrine function involves the secretion into the bloodstream of insulin, which regulates the level of sugars in the blood. As part of the digestive system, the pancreas secretes into the small intestine a fluid containing enzymes that is used in the digestion of all foods.

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.
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