: the posterior opening of the digestive tract

Examples of anus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In April 2019, the couple went to the wedding and on unsanctioned tours of farms owned by the Iowan state senator Ken Rozenboom, taking photos of pigs whose rectums were hanging out of their anuses. Elizabeth Barber, Harper's Magazine, 12 Sep. 2022 Two of the cows also had their genitalia and anuses removed. Lana Ferguson, Dallas News, 23 Apr. 2023 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 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'anus.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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"

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near anus

Cite this Entry

“Anus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anus. Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


: the lower or posterior opening of the alimentary canal

Medical Definition


plural anuses or ani ˈā-(ˌ)nī How to pronounce anus (audio)
: the posterior opening of the digestive tract

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