noun \ˈsplēn\

: an organ located near your stomach that destroys worn-out red blood cells and produces white blood cells

: feelings of anger

Full Definition of SPLEEN

:  a highly vascular ductless organ that is located in the left abdominal region near the stomach or intestine of most vertebrates and is concerned with final destruction of red blood cells, filtration and storage of blood, and production of lymphocytes
obsolete :  the seat of emotions or passions
archaic :  melancholy
:  feelings of anger or ill will often suppressed
obsolete :  a sudden impulse or whim :  caprice

Examples of SPLEEN

  1. <vented her spleen and felt much better for having done so>
  2. <the bill's failure to pass in the legislature was due to nothing more than partisan spleen>

Origin of SPLEEN

Middle English splen, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French espleen, from Latin splen, from Greek splēn; akin to Latin lien spleen, Sanskrit plīhan
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of SPLEEN

malice, malevolence, ill will, spite, malignity, spleen, grudge mean the desire to see another experience pain, injury, or distress. malice implies a deep-seated often unexplainable desire to see another suffer <felt no malice toward their former enemies>. malevolence suggests a bitter persistent hatred that is likely to be expressed in malicious conduct <a look of dark malevolence>. ill will implies a feeling of antipathy of limited duration <ill will provoked by a careless remark>. spite implies petty feelings of envy and resentment that are often expressed in small harassments <petty insults inspired by spite>. malignity implies deep passion and relentlessness <a life consumed by motiveless malignity>. spleen suggests the wrathful release of latent spite or persistent malice <venting his spleen against politicians>. grudge implies a harbored feeling of resentment or ill will that seeks satisfaction <never one to harbor a grudge>.

Other Anatomy Terms

bilateral symmetry, carotid, cartilage, dorsal, entrails, prehensile, renal, solar plexus, supine, thoracic, ventral
SPLEEN Defined for Kids


noun \ˈsplēn\

Definition of SPLEEN for Kids

:  an organ near the stomach that destroys worn-out red blood cells and produces some of the white blood cells
Medical Dictionary


noun \ˈsplēn\

Medical Definition of SPLEEN

:  a highly vascular ductless abdominal organ of vertebrates that resembles a gland in organization but is closely associated with the circulatory system, that plays a role in the final destruction of red blood cells, filtration and storage of blood, and production of lymphocytes, and that in humans is a dark purplish flattened oblong object of a soft fragile consistency lying near the cardiac end of the stomach and consisting largely of blood and lymphoid tissue enclosed in a fibroelastic capsule from which trabeculae ramify through the tissue of the organ which is divisible into a loose friable red pulp in intimate connection with the blood supply and with red blood cells free in its interstices and a denser white pulp chiefly of lymphoid tissue condensed in masses about the small arteries


Next Word in the Dictionary: spleen amaranthPrevious Word in the Dictionary: splaymouthedAll Words Near: spleen
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