dis·​em·​bow·​el | \ ˌdis-əm-ˈbau̇(-ə)l How to pronounce disembowel (audio) \
disemboweled; disemboweling; disembowels

Definition of disembowel

transitive verb

1 : to take out the bowels of : eviscerate also : to slash or tear the abdomen so that some or all of the internal organs protrude
2 : to remove the substance of a program disemboweled by spending cuts

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Other Words from disembowel

disembowelment \ ˌdis-​əm-​ˈbau̇(-​ə)l-​mənt How to pronounce disembowelment (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for disembowel


clean, draw, eviscerate, gut

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Examples of disembowel in a Sentence

The fierce cat uses its claws to disembowel its prey. ancient Roman prophets would disembowel animals in order to read the future from their entrails

Recent Examples on the Web

Halfway under the frame lay the family’s small dog, disemboweled by the blows of the log. Tribune News Service, oregonlive.com, "The Man in the Window: First the burglaries; then the dogs started dying (Part Two)," 22 June 2019 Later, Matt marveled at the vastness and bustle of the Tsukiji Fish Market — and was grimly fascinated watching a live eel being disemboweled. Andrew Bender, latimes.com, "A trip to Japan with my teenage nephew leads to life lessons," 16 June 2019 The torso has been severed at the waist and disemboweled. David Zurawik, baltimoresun.com, "'The Tunnel' returns to PBS and speaks truth to our border and immigration debate," 28 June 2018 One officer was killed and disemboweled; two others were badly injured. Longreads, "Where Have You Hidden the Cholera?," 5 Apr. 2018 Victims are dismembered, decapitated, disemboweled, set on fire, and chopped into little pieces. . . Robert Barnes, Washington Post, "Supreme Court rule: (Other) justices shouldn’t conduct independent research," 25 Mar. 2018 The bear eventually left, but not before nearly disemboweling him. Ryan Sabalow And Ed Fletcher, sacbee, "Tahoe bears are breaking into homes with people inside. Should the animals be killed? | The Sacramento Bee," 16 Mar. 2018 In 2007 a zookeeper in Argentina died after she was disemboweled by a captive giant anteater, and since then two hunters have met similar fates in the wild. National Geographic, "Giant Anteater Faces Off With Jaguar, Leaves Unimpressed," 7 Mar. 2018 Simple: By leaping on its back and biting the neck until the animal chokes out and falls over, at which time the wolverine will start disemboweling the prey. Josh Dean, Esquire, "America's 10 Toughest Animals," 2 June 2015

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

1618, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for disembowel

Last Updated

4 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for disembowel

The first known use of disembowel was in 1618

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More Definitions for disembowel



English Language Learners Definition of disembowel

: to take the stomach, intestines, etc., out of (an animal or person) : to remove the bowels of (an animal or person)

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