\ ˈā-nəs How to pronounce anus (audio) \

Definition of anus

: the posterior opening of the digestive tract

Examples of anus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Human studies have found that baby boys who were exposed to higher phthalate levels during fetal development had shorter distances between their anuses and genitals — a measure linked to lower testosterone levels and semen quality later in life. New York Times, 17 Apr. 2020 Wombats have roundish anuses, just like the rest of us mammals. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, 20 Nov. 2018 Overall, then, evolution easily could have done a U-turn long ago and developed fancier folds around our anuses for rectal talking. Sam Kean, Slate Magazine, 24 July 2017 An estimated 80 million in the U.S. have HPV, which is usually cleared by the immune system but causes most cervical cancers and some cancers of the anus and throat. Todd Ackerman, Houston Chronicle, 28 Dec. 2017

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

First Known Use of anus

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for anus

borrowed from Latin ānus "ring, anus," perhaps going back to an Indo-European base *h1eh2n-o-, whence also, with different suffixation, Old Irish áinne "ring," Armenian anur, genitive-dative anroy "ring, necklace, collar"

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Time Traveler for anus

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The first known use of anus was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Anus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for anus


\ ˈā-nəs \

Kids Definition of anus

: the lower opening of the digestive tract


\ ˈā-nəs How to pronounce anus (audio) \
plural anuses or ani\ ˈā-​(ˌ)nī How to pronounce anus (audio) \

Medical Definition of anus

: the posterior opening of the digestive tract

More from Merriam-Webster on anus Encyclopedia article about anus


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