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

transitive verb

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

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 Researchers initially thought that the giant claw was used for disemboweling its prey, but now believe it was used for stabbing and slashing them. Sara Novak, Discover Magazine, 8 June 2023 These days, 25 Water Street is getting flayed and disemboweled. Curbed, 24 Jan. 2024 With eyesight as sharp as that of an eagle or falcon, vultures can detect tiny variations in the landscape that might signal current or soon-to-be carrion, like displacements in the grass as a predator disembowels its prey. Natalie Angier, New York Times, 12 Nov. 2023 Another was disemboweled by machinery in a grain silo. Maryam Jameel, ProPublica, 25 Oct. 2023 In this ruling, a 7–2 majority rejected an attempt to disembowel the federal government’s capacity to tie regulatory strings to funds granted to states and localities. Simon Lazarus, The New Republic, 16 Aug. 2023 The legend says these spiders position themselves under the belly of a camel, leap into the air, slice open the abdomen, disembowel it and eat the stomach while the camel is still alive. Jeremy Hillpot, Discover Magazine, 10 June 2023 But that’s a little like disemboweling a live sheep in July and interpreting its viscera to foretell that the weather will turn cold. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 6 June 2023 Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev accused Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of being subservient to the United States after the Japanese leader’s summit with President Biden, saying Saturday that Kishida should ritually disembowel himself. Francesca Ebel, Washington Post, 15 Jan. 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

1618, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of disembowel was in 1618

Dictionary Entries Near disembowel

Cite this Entry

“Disembowel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disembowel. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


dis·​em·​bow·​el ˌdis-əm-ˈbau̇(-ə)l How to pronounce disembowel (audio)
disemboweled or disembowelled; disemboweling or disembowelling
: to take out the bowels of
disembowelment noun

More from Merriam-Webster on disembowel

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!