Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

pancreas

play
noun pan·cre·as \ˈpaŋ-krē-əs, ˈpan-\

Simple Definition of pancreas

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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of pancreas

  1. :  a large lobulated gland of vertebrates that secretes digestive enzymes and the hormones insulin and glucagon

pancreatic

play \ˌpaŋ-krē-ˈa-tik, ˌpan-\ adjective

Origin and Etymology of pancreas

New Latin, from Greek pankreas sweetbread, from pan- + kreas flesh, meat — more at raw


First Known Use: 1578


PANCREAS Defined for Kids

pancreas

play
noun pan·cre·as \ˈpaŋ-krē-əs\

Definition of pancreas for Students

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




Medical Dictionary

pancreas

play
noun pan·cre·as \ˈpaŋ-krē-əs, ˈpan-\

Medical Definition of pancreas

plural

pancreases

also

pancreata

\pan-ˈkrē-ət-ə\play
  1. :  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



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up pancreas? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to proceed clumsily or ineffectually

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

lavender-fields-in-france

Which of these is a synonym of caesura?

rebellion megillah torrent interruption
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ