noun \dī-ˈjes-chən, də-, -ˈjesh-\

: the process by which food is changed to a simpler form after it is eaten

Full Definition of DIGESTION

:  the action, process, or power of digesting: as
a :  the process of making food absorbable by dissolving it and breaking it down into simpler chemical compounds that occurs in the living body chiefly through the action of enzymes secreted into the alimentary canal
b :  the process in sewage treatment by which organic matter in sludge is decomposed by anaerobic bacteria with the release of a burnable mixture of gases

Examples of DIGESTION

  1. an enzyme that aids in the digestion of protein
  2. She began to suffer from poor digestion as she grew older.

First Known Use of DIGESTION

14th century


noun \dī-ˈjes(h)-chən, də-\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of DIGESTION

: the action, process, or power of digesting; especially : the process of making food absorbable by mechanically and enzymatically breaking it down into simpler chemical compounds in the alimentary canal


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Major organs of the human digestive system. Food taken in by the mouth is guided by the tongue as …—© Merriam-Webster Inc.

Process of dissolving and chemically converting food for absorption by cells. In the mouth, food is chewed, mixed with saliva, which begins to break down starches, and kneaded by the tongue into a ball for swallowing. Peristalsis propels it through the esophagus and the rest of the alimentary canal. In the stomach, food mixes with acid and enzymes, which further break it down. The mixture, called chyme, enters the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine. Bile from the liver breaks up fat globules. Enzymes from the pancreas and intestinal glands act on specific molecules, breaking carbohydrates down into simple sugars, proteins into amino acids, and fats into glycerol and fatty acids. These products are absorbed by the bloodstream. Indigestible substances, such as fibre, pass into the large intestine, where water and ions are reabsorbed and feces held for excretion.


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