[vis-er-uh l]
  1. of or relating to the viscera.
  2. affecting the viscera.
  3. of the nature of or resembling viscera.
  4. characterized by or proceeding from instinct rather than intellect: a visceral reaction.
  5. characterized by or dealing with coarse or base emotions; earthy; crude: a visceral literary style.

Origin of visceral

1565–75; < Medieval Latin viscerālis, equivalent to viscer- (see viscera) + -ālis -al1
Related formsvis·cer·al·ly, adverbnon·vis·cer·al, adjectiveun·vis·cer·al, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for viscerally

Contemporary Examples of viscerally

British Dictionary definitions for viscerally


  1. of, relating to, or affecting the viscera
  2. characterized by intuition or instinct rather than intellect
Derived Formsviscerally, adverb
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 viscerally



1570s, "affecting inward feelings," from Middle French viscéral, from Medieval Latin visceralis "internal," from Latin viscera, plural of viscus "internal organ," of unknown origin. The bowels were regarded as the seat of emotion. The figurative sense vanished after 1640 and the literal sense is first recorded in 1794. The figurative sense was revived 1940s in arts criticism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

viscerally in Medicine


  1. Relating to, situated in, or affecting the viscera.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.