• synonyms


[vis-kuh s]
  1. singular of viscera.
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plural noun, singular vis·cus [vis-kuh s] /ˈvɪs kəs/.
  1. Anatomy, Zoology. the organs in the cavities of the body, especially those in the abdominal cavity.
  2. (not used scientifically) the intestines; bowels.
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Origin of viscera

1645–55; < Latin: internal organs, plural of viscus flesh
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for viscus

Historical Examples

  • As the viscus completely fills the cranium, the case cannot be otherwise.


    Alexander Walker

  • The viscus used for this purpose is an animal juice, which nature has enabled them to elaborate.

  • Poisons taken into the stomach when that viscus is empty, necessarily act much more speedily than when it is full.

    Memoranda on Poisons

    Thomas Hawkes Tanner

  • It bears a very slimy white berry, of which birdlime may be made, whence its Latin name of Viscus.

    Children's Literature

    Charles Madison Curry

  • The semecarpus anacardium, bearing the form of a heart, was recommended in the diseases of this viscus.

    Curiosities of Medical Experience

    J. G. (John Gideon) Millingen

British Dictionary definitions for viscus


  1. the singular of viscera
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pl n singular viscus (ˈvɪskəs)
  1. anatomy the large internal organs of the body collectively, esp those in the abdominal cavityRelated adjective: splanchnic
  2. (less formally) the intestines; guts
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Word Origin

C17: from Latin: entrails, pl of viscus internal organ
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 viscus



"inner organs of the body," 1650s, from Latin viscera, plural of viscus "internal organ," of unknown origin.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

viscus in Medicine


  1. The soft internal organs of the body, especially those contained within the abdominal and thoracic cavities.
  2. The intestines.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

viscus in Science


  1. The soft internal organs of the body, especially those contained within the abdominal and thoracic cavities.
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Related formsvisceral adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.