ab·​do·​men | \ ˈab-də-mən How to pronounce abdomen (audio) , -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 How to pronounce abdominal (audio) , əb-​ , -​ˈdäm-​nᵊl \ adjective
abdominally \ -​ē How to pronounce abdominally (audio) \ 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

Rahn was kept in the intensive care unit for a couple of days as her organs, which had been crammed inside her abdomen, started to move back into place, Jones said. Lindsey Bever, chicagotribune.com, "She kept gaining weight and didn't know why. It turned out to be a 50-pound ovarian cyst.," 2 July 2018 The bullet tore through his abdomen and hit an artery leading to his left leg. Nina Shapiro, The Seattle Times, "He’s Mexican. She’s American. Deportation forced this Washington state family to make a choice.," 27 July 2018 The child, Mario Brown, who had just turned 17, had yet to arrive from a CT scan of his abdomen and the .22-caliber bullet lodged in it. Kurtis Lee, latimes.com, "In Detroit's busiest ER, a man with his own dark past tries to halt a cycle of violence," 15 June 2018 Police said he had been shot in the abdomen and was taken to an area hospital. Jessica Anderson, baltimoresun.com, "60-year-old man shot after returning home from church Monday night, police say," 24 Apr. 2018 When a CT scan confirmed the presence of several small oval objects in her abdomen, the doctors gave her laxatives. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "As if heroin weren’t dangerous enough, it may come with lead poisoning," 9 Nov. 2018 Soon came a certain mysterious pressure in her abdomen. Vahe Gregorian, kansascity, "The remarkable Hilary Watson's inspiring battle against cancer | The Kansas City Star," 19 May 2018 Bullets punched holes in Mcneill’s left arm, his chest and his abdomen. Meredith Cohn, Washington Post, "After being shot, Baltimore police officer spends four years recovering in hope of returning to duty," 7 Apr. 2018 Doctors have also been using it (off-label) on armpit and bra bulge, as well as the abdomen. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "17 Over-the-Top Beauty Treatments to Try Before Your Wedding Day," 13 Dec. 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

27 May 2019

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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 How to pronounce abdomen (audio) , 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- How to pronounce abdomen (audio) \

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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