ab·do·men | \ˈab-də-mən, -ˌdō-;əb-ˈdō-mən, ab-\

Definition of abdomen 

1 : the part of the body between the thorax and the pelvis also : the cavity of this part of the trunk containing the chief viscera

2 : the posterior section of the body behind the thorax in an arthropod — see insect illustration

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Other Words from abdomen

abdominal \ab-ˈdä-mə-nᵊl, əb-, -ˈdäm-nᵊl \ adjective
abdominally \ \ adverb

Synonyms for abdomen


belly, breadbasket [slang], gut, solar plexus, stomach, tummy

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Examples of abdomen in a Sentence

showed us a tiny tattoo on her abdomen, right next to her belly button

Recent Examples on the Web

The 19-year-old suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen and was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where his condition had stabilized. Terrence Antonio James, chicagotribune.com, "2 dead, 3 wounded in city shootings," 11 July 2018 The cyst had crowded out her other internal organs, which forced them to cram inside her abdomen, the Post's Lindsey Bever writes. Colby Itkowitz, Washington Post, "The Health 202: Those who don't qualify for government aid aren't buying Obamacare plans," 3 July 2018 In that attack, a 22-year-old man was shot in the abdomen and was treated and released from the hospital. Fox News, "Officer charged in shooting of black teen near Pittsburgh," 28 June 2018 The bowel at the upper left corner of the abdomen is the most vulnerable part of the GI tract. Lisa Sanders, New York Times, "What Was Causing a Healthy Older Man to Be Nauseated by Food?," 13 June 2018 One of those deputies, Justin Nail, was hit in the abdomen and remains hospitalized but is expected to recover, Smith said. Bob Warren, NOLA.com, "Phone scammers back at it in St. Tammany Parish," 3 Apr. 2018 Working with asbestos is the main risk factor for mesothelioma, a rare type of cancer that occurs in the lining of the body's internal organs most commonly in the lungs but also occasionally in the abdomen or around the heart. Sarah Bowman, Indianapolis Star, "'Tragic consequences': new bill could rob asbestos disease victims of rights to seek justice," 25 Feb. 2018 But even as the three took cover amid the gunfire, a bullet struck the boy in his abdomen, eventually traveling out the boy's back, Milam said. Samantha Ketterer, Houston Chronicle, "2-year-old boy in critical condition after apparently accidental shooting in SE Houston," 21 May 2018 Now that valve releases excess brain fluid into her abdomen, where Uriarte says the seal’s body is capable of processing the fluid without harm. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "First-of-Its-Kind Brain Surgery Saves Beloved Fur Seal," 2 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abdomen.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of abdomen

circa 1541, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for abdomen

borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French, borrowed from Latin abdōmen "fat underpart of an animal, belly, paunch," of uncertain origin

Note: Often seen as a derivative of abdere, "to hide, conceal," i.e., "that which is hidden," based on a nominal ablaut form *dhoh1- from the root *dheh1- "put." However, Latin abdōmen refers primarily to a body part of animals, and more or less humorously of humans; such usage suggests something prominent rather than something concealed, so the derivation looks somewhat unlikely.

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Statistics for abdomen

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for abdomen

The first known use of abdomen was circa 1541

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More Definitions for abdomen



English Language Learners Definition of abdomen

: the part of the body below the chest that contains the stomach and other organs

: the rear part of an insect's body


ab·do·men | \ˈab-də-mən, ab-ˈdō-\

Kids Definition of abdomen

1 : the part of the body between the chest and the hips including the cavity containing the stomach and other digestive organs

2 : the hind part of the body of an arthropod (as an insect)


ab·do·men | \ˈab-də-mən, -ˌdō-; əb-ˈdō-mən, ab- \

Medical Definition of abdomen 

1a : the part of the body between the thorax and the pelvis with the exception of the back

called also belly

b : the cavity of this part of the trunk lined by the peritoneum, enclosed by the body walls, the diaphragm, and the pelvic floor, and containing the visceral organs (as the stomach, intestines, and liver)

c : the portion of this cavity between the diaphragm and the brim of the pelvis — compare pelvic cavity

2 : the posterior often elongated region of the body behind the thorax in arthropods

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Comments on abdomen

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


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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