- the bowels or entrails.
- Informal.courage and fortitude; nerve; determination; stamina: Climbing that cliff takes a lot of guts.
- the inner working parts of a machine or device: The mechanic had the guts of the refrigerator laid out on the kitchen floor.
verb (used with object), gut·ted, gut·ting.
- basic or essential: to discuss the gut issues.
- based on instincts or emotions: a gut reaction; gut decisions.
Origin of gut
Synonyms for gut
n acronym for
- the lower part of the alimentary canal; intestine
- the entire alimentary canalRelated adjective: visceral
verb guts, gutting or gutted (tr)
Word Origin for gut
Old English guttas (plural) "bowels, entrails," related to geotan "to pour," from PIE *gheu- "pour" (see found (v.2)). Related to Middle Dutch gote, Dutch goot, German Gosse "gutter, drain," Middle English gote "channel, stream." Meaning "abdomen, belly" is from c.1400. Meaning "easy college course" is student slang from 1916, probably from obsolete slang sense of "feast" (the connecting notion is "something that one can eat up"). Sense of "inside contents of anything" (usually plural) is from 1570s. To hate (someone's) guts is first attested 1918. The notion of the intestines as a seat of emotions is ancient (cf. bowel) and probably explains expressions such as gut reaction (1963), gut feeling (by 1970), and cf. guts. Gut check attested by 1976.
"to remove the guts of" (fish, etc.), late 14c., from gut (n.); figurative use by 1680s. Related: Gutted; gutting.
In addition to the idiom beginning with gut
- gut it out
- bust a gut
- hate someone's guts
- have the guts