bow·​el | \ˈbau̇(-ə)l \

Definition of bowel 

1 biology : intestine, gut also : one of the divisions of the intestines usually used in plural except in medical use the large bowel move your bowels

2 archaic : the seat of pity, tenderness, or courage usually used in plural

3 bowels plural : the interior parts especially : the deep or remote parts bowels of the earth

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Other Words from bowel

bowelless \ ˈbau̇(-​ə)l-​ləs \ adjective

Examples of bowel in a Sentence

a disease of the bowel They dug deep into the bowels of the earth. The engine room is down in the bowels of the ship.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Physician Anthony Dixon, who performed a vaginal mesh implant on Methuen-Campbell, has developed an international reputation for using the implant to fix bowel problems. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "Woman commits suicide after surgeon removes ovaries that were 'in the way' without consent," 31 May 2018 These inoperable desmoid tumors worked their way into my small bowel, establishing fistulas, or abnormal connections. Denise Teter,, "For a colorectal cancer survivor on IV nutrition, airport security is another hurdle to vault," 11 July 2018 Three days later, doctors removed part of his bowel to relieve an intestinal blockage and installed a pacemaker, Flair said. Joe Marusak, charlotteobserver, "After an earlier life-saving operation, Ric Flair undergoes another surgery," 9 July 2018 Chemo drugs can make your bowels move way more often, resulting in diarrhea. Korin Miller, SELF, "11 Common Chemotherapy Side Effects, Plus How to Ease Them," 18 June 2018 Unable to keep down food or move his bowels, he was treated for pain with naproxen — which can cause or worsen ulcers — and then for constipation. NBC News, "Feds admit liability for death of Alabama inmate who died of ulcer," 4 June 2018 If the spinal cord is completely severed by trauma to the neck region, victims are paralyzed in legs, arms and torso, unable to control their bowel and bladder, and without bodily sensations. Christof Koch, Scientific American, "What Is Consciousness?," 8 May 2018 The supply of fertiliser, which comes from a massive poultry farm in nearby Wakefield, is limited by the prodigiousness of its chickens’ bowels. The Economist, "Corn beef," 12 Apr. 2018 Gases billowed in their bowels with similar patterns seen in the earlier trials. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "With ingestible pill, you can track fart development in real time on your phone," 9 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bowel.' 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 bowel

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bowel

Middle English, from Anglo-French buel, boel, from Medieval Latin botellus, from Latin, diminutive of botulus sausage

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Statistics for bowel

Last Updated

30 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bowel

The first known use of bowel was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for bowel



English Language Learners Definition of bowel

: the long tube in the body that helps digest food and carries solid waste out of the body

the bowels : the deep inner parts of something


bow·​el | \ˈbau̇-əl \

Kids Definition of bowel

1 : intestine usually used in pl.

2 : a part of the intestine the large bowel


bow·​el | \ˈbau̇(-ə)l \

Medical Definition of bowel 

: intestine, gut also : one of the divisions of the intestines usually used in plural except in medical use move your bowels surgery of the involved bowel

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Comments on bowel

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


to express warning or disapproval

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