noun pan·cre·as \ˈpaŋ-krē-əs, ˈpan-\

: a large gland of the body that is near the stomach and that produces insulin and other substances that help the body digest food

Full Definition of PANCREAS

:  a large lobulated gland of vertebrates that secretes digestive enzymes and the hormones insulin and glucagon
pan·cre·at·ic \ˌpaŋ-krē-ˈa-tik, ˌpan-\ adjective

Origin of PANCREAS

New Latin, from Greek pankreas sweetbread, from pan- + kreas flesh, meat — more at raw
First Known Use: 1578
PANCREAS Defined for Kids


noun pan·cre·as \ˈpaŋ-krē-əs\

Definition of PANCREAS for Kids

:  a large gland near the stomach that produces insulin and a fluid (pancreatic juice) with enzymes that aid digestion
Medical Dictionary


noun pan·cre·as \ˈpaŋ-krē-əs, ˈpan-\
plural pan·cre·as·es also pan·cre·ata \pan-ˈkrē-ət-ə\

Medical Definition of PANCREAS

:  a large lobulated gland that in humans lies in front of the upper lumbar vertebrae and behind the stomach and is somewhat hammer-shaped and firmly attached anteriorly to the curve of the duodenum with which it communicates through one or more pancreatic ducts and that consists of (1) tubular acini secreting digestive enzymes which pass to the intestine and function in the breakdown of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates; (2) modified acinar cells that form islets of Langerhans between the tubules and secrete the hormones insulin and glucagon; and (3) a firm connective-tissue capsule that extends supportive strands into the organ

Illustration of PANCREAS


Next Word in the Dictionary: pancreat-Previous Word in the Dictionary: pancre-All Words Near: pancreas
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears