di·​ges·​tion | \ dī-ˈjes-chən How to pronounce digestion (audio) , də-, -ˈjesh-\

Definition of digestion

: the action, process, or power of digesting: such as
a : the process of making food absorbable by mechanically and enzymatically breaking it down into simpler chemical compounds in the digestive tract
b : the process in sewage treatment by which organic matter in sludge is decomposed by anaerobic bacteria with the release of a burnable mixture of gases

Examples of digestion in a Sentence

an enzyme that aids in the digestion of protein She began to suffer from poor digestion as she grew older.

Recent Examples on the Web

These studies proved that music could lower blood pressure, decrease pulse rate and assists the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for digestion and some metabolic processes. Nicole Dellert, Allure, "I Tried a Sound Bath — Here's What This Meditative Practice Is Really Like," 24 Oct. 2018 The animal waste in the lagoons undergoes anaerobic digestion, where microorganisms break down many of the substances into carbon dioxide and methane. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Florence dropped so much rain that hog waste is spilling out of lagoons," 18 Sep. 2018 That lengthy digestion can lead to the classic post-burger-and-fries feeling of bloat and gassiness. Amy Marturana, SELF, "7 Common Causes of Excessive Gas," 26 Dec. 2018 Blessed thistle, for instance, is a plant that was originally native to the Mediterranean and was used by monks in the Middle Ages to relieve digestion; its leaves are now sometimes recommended to nursing mothers in tea or capsule form. E.j. Dickson, Vox, "Inside the mommy-friendly, scientifically sketchy world of breastfeeding supplements," 20 Dec. 2018 Most kinds pose no harm and even contribute to healthy digestion, but a few strains can lead to illness when transmitted through food, water, or other people and animals. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Romaine Lettuce Is Not Safe to Eat, CDC Warns After E. Coli Outbreak," 20 Nov. 2018 The combo of soluble and insoluble fiber in berries can help slow down the rate of digestion in your GI tract, causing a steadier release of sugar into your bloodstream and a more stable, longer-lasting energy boost! Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "Why You Should Go All In on Blueberries This Summer," 31 May 2018 The final step of digestion is, of course, elimination. Julie Schott, The Cut, "If You Want Clear Skin, Look at Your Poop," 19 Mar. 2018 Turmeric, probiotic, lemon and maple syrup fight inflammation, aid in digestion and stave off sickness, liquiteria.com. Alexandra Tunell, Harper's BAZAAR, "10 Best Juices to Try in New York City," 12 Feb. 2015

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

6 Mar 2019

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

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English Language Learners Definition of digestion

: the process by which food is changed to a simpler form after it is eaten


di·​ges·​tion | \ dī-ˈjes-chən How to pronounce digestion (audio) , də-\

Kids Definition of digestion

: the body's process or power of changing food into simpler forms that can be taken up and used


di·​ges·​tion | \ dī-ˈjes(h)-chən, də- How to pronounce digestion (audio) \

Medical Definition of digestion

: the action, process, or power of digesting especially : the process of making food absorbable by mechanically and enzymatically breaking it down into simpler chemical compounds in the digestive tract

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Comments on digestion

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


of or relating to a parable or parabola

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