di·​ges·​tion | \dī-ˈjes-chən, 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

Ginger has been used in Asian cultures for thousands of years for culinary and medicinal purposes thanks to its anti-inflammatory, circulation-boosting, and digestion-aiding effects year round. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Why a Hot Ginger Bath Is the Perfect Detox Ritual for Winter," 26 Nov. 2018 Like many food allergens, the Ara proteins make up a high proportion of their plant, dissolve in water and resist digestion. Amber Dance, Washington Post, "Peanut allergy is one of the most severe food allergies. New therapies might help.," 12 May 2018 In your digestive tract, those invisible ecosystems play important roles not only in digestion but also in the immune system and the endocrine system, influencing the hormones that help regulate bodily functions. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Mammals inherit most of their gut bacteria, new study suggests," 26 Oct. 2018 The ancient Greeks used sound vibration to aid in digestion, treat mental disturbance, and induce sleep, and even Aristotle's De Anima detailed how flute music could purify the soul. Nicole Dellert, Allure, "I Tried a Sound Bath — Here's What This Meditative Practice Is Really Like," 24 Oct. 2018 One of the fastest-growing new areas are fermented drinks like kombucha, a tea containing probiotics that advocates say help with digestion and gut health. Patrick Mcgroarty, WSJ, "Dull Skin? Restless Sleep? There’s a Drink for That," 28 Aug. 2018 Studies have shown that apple cider vinegar could be beneficial in lowering blood sugar, aiding in slight long term weight loss, and as a prebiotic to ease digestion. Kyle Beechey, Bon Appetit, "The Mysterious Hippie Food Brand That's Never Let Me Down," 27 June 2018 This tropical fruit contains two important electrolytes, potassium and magnesium, plus antioxidants that prevent inflammation and actinidin, an enzyme that helps with protein digestion. NBC News, "8 summer superfoods to eat after a tough workout," 11 July 2018 Keatley cites people who have poor quality diets, people who have difficulty with digestion (such as those who have had gastric bypass surgery or have Crohn's disease), and the elderly as some potential candidates for multivitamin use. Korin Miller, Allure, "Do You Need to Take a Multivitamin? Here's What Nutritionists Say," 3 May 2018

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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Statistics for digestion

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

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

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More Definitions for digestion



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, 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- \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on digestion

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with digestion

Spanish Central: Translation of digestion

Nglish: Translation of digestion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of digestion for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about digestion

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