bow·​el | \ ˈbau̇(-ə)l How to pronounce bowel (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from bowel

bowelless \ ˈbau̇(-​ə)l-​ləs How to pronounce bowelless (audio) \ 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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Not everyone has the exact same symptoms, but most people will have some degree of heat intolerance, unintentional weight loss, tremor, muscle weakness, hair loss, more frequent and looser bowels, anxiety, irritability or poor concentration. Andrea K. Mcdaniels,, "What is Graves' disease? A MedStar endocrinologist explains," 5 Apr. 2018 That includes an adverse reaction to anesthesia, infection, damage to the bladder, bowel, or major blood vessels, and long-term pelvic or abdominal pain. Nina Bahadur, SELF, "Childfree by Choice: When You Don't Want Kids—But Your Doctor Won't Listen," 1 Mar. 2018 This can include over-the-counter topical treatments, adding fiber to your diet to make bowel movements easier, ice packs—and, yep, sitz baths. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What the Hell Is a Sitz Bath? (And Why Would You Take One?)," 14 Mar. 2019 The problem with a rotavirus vaccine was that another company had already developed one but then had to take it off the market because it was found to increase the risk of bowel obstruction in infants. Denise Grady, New York Times, "Dr. Adel Mahmoud, Who Was Credited With HPV and Rotavirus Vaccines, Dies at 76," 19 June 2018 When Strube-Bohaty was an infant, she was diagnosed with meconium ileus, a bowel obstruction that occurs when a child’s intestines become stickier than normal. Jason Duaine Hahn,, "Bride Has Dream Wedding After Undergoing Lung Transplant: 'I Felt Like Such a Princess'," 1 May 2018 Born without some vital organs, Yates' son has had surgical transplants of his pancreas, liver and bowels, the lawsuit said. Ivan Moreno,, "Sex offender sues Wisconsin children's hospital that won't let him visit 9-year-old son," 10 Mar. 2018 Yates’ son has had several serious medical conditions since birth, requiring surgical transplants of his pancreas, liver and bowels, the lawsuit said. Washington Post, "Sex offender sues hospital that won’t let him visit son, 9," 9 Mar. 2018 Your system develops a dependence on them, according to the Mayo Clinic, meaning your ability to have natural bowel movements declines and need more and more laxatives. Korin Miller, SELF, "5 Things You Need To Know About Using Laxatives For Weight Loss," 2 Jan. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bowel

Statistics for bowel

Last Updated

3 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bowel

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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
literary : the deep inner parts of something


bow·​el | \ ˈbau̇-əl How to pronounce bowel (audio) \

Kids Definition of bowel

1 : intestine usually used in pl.
2 : a part of the intestine the large bowel


bow·​el | \ ˈbau̇(-ə)l How to pronounce bowel (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on bowel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bowel

Spanish Central: Translation of bowel

Nglish: Translation of bowel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bowel for Arabic Speakers

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 affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!