colic

1 of 3

noun

col·​ic ˈkä-lik How to pronounce colic (audio)
1
: an attack of acute abdominal pain localized in a hollow organ and often caused by spasm, obstruction, or twisting
2
: a condition marked by recurrent episodes of prolonged and uncontrollable crying and irritability in an otherwise healthy infant that is of unknown cause and usually subsides after three to four months of age

colic

2 of 3

adjective (1)

: of or relating to colic : colicky
colic crying

colic

3 of 3

adjective (2)

co·​lic ˈkō-lik How to pronounce colic (audio) ˈkä- How to pronounce colic (audio)
: of or relating to the colon
colic lymph nodes

Examples of colic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
To help with colic and other gas problems, the air ventilation system is in the nipple itself. Laura Lu, Ms, Parents, 19 Feb. 2024 On May 18, Gypsy, a 30-year-old Arabian horse, was humanely euthanized due to an acute episode of colic that zoo staff believed wouldn't have been solved with surgery. Amy Schwabe, Journal Sentinel, 3 Jan. 2024 For short-term lead exposure, parents should be mindful of the following symptoms: headache, abdominal pain, colic, vomiting and anemia. Charna Flam, Peoplemag, 16 Nov. 2023 However, children may exhibit some symptoms, including abdominal pain and colic, headache, vomiting and anemia. Caitlin O'Kane, CBS News, 30 Oct. 2023 The Times excludes deaths due to colic, laminitis, neurological or other issues unless directly tied to racing or training. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, 26 Aug. 2023 Funny Cide, the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness-winning horse, has died at age 23 after complications from colic. Stephanie Gallman Jordan, Southern Living, 28 July 2023 If your baby is actually suffering from colic, a bottle switch will not make a difference. Good Housekeeping, 24 July 2023 Mikki also birthed Scotty in March 2007 who died from complications of colic, which is common in elephants and horses. Ana Rocío Álvarez Bríñez, USA TODAY, 3 July 2023
Adjective
Unlike other anti-colic bottle systems — which come with loads of parts — there's less to wash. Staff Author, Peoplemag, 12 Aug. 2022 Companies often suggest that common infant adaptations such as fussiness, colic or short nighttime sleep duration are signs of breastfeeding issues that formula can fix. Janelle Chavez, CNN, 7 Feb. 2023 The cause was colic, according to the city health department, a common and frequently fatal equine ailment. Sarah Maslin Nir, New York Times, 21 Sep. 2022 This timeless bottle from Dr. Brown’s is best known for its anti-colic vent system that prevents air swallowing to reduce burping, spitting up and gas. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, 16 Sep. 2022 Well, consider your luck changed with Green to Grow's new Mellow colic-relief nipples ($5.49 per pack of 3). Staff Author, Peoplemag, 12 Aug. 2022 Lacking a rich stew of microbial bacteria in infancy has been linked to autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, Crohn’s and celiac, as well as colic, asthma, eczema, and allergies, according to a June 2021 study published in Cell. Theresa Sullivan Barger, Discover Magazine, 23 Nov. 2021 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, from Medieval Latin colica (passio) intestinal (suffering), from Late Latin colicus of the colon, colicky, from Greek kōlikos, from kōlon, alteration of kolon colon

First Known Use

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Adjective (2)

1615, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near colic

Cite this Entry

“Colic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/colic. Accessed 5 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

colic

noun
col·​ic
ˈkäl-ik
1
: sharp sudden pain in the abdomen
2
: a condition marked by periods of prolonged and uncontrollable crying and irritability in an otherwise healthy infant
colicky
-i-kē
adjective

Medical Definition

colic

1 of 3 noun
col·​ic ˈkäl-ik How to pronounce colic (audio)
1
: an attack of acute abdominal pain localized in a hollow organ or part (as the small intestine, ureter, or bile duct) and often caused by spasm, obstruction, or twisting
2
: a condition marked by recurrent episodes of prolonged and uncontrollable crying and irritability in an otherwise healthy infant that is of unknown cause and usually subsides after three to four months of age

colic

2 of 3 adjective
: of or relating to colic : colicky
colic crying

colic

3 of 3 adjective
: of or relating to the colon
colic lymph nodes
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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