di·​ver·​tic·​u·​lum | \ ˌdī-vər-ˈti-kyə-ləm How to pronounce diverticulum (audio) \
plural diverticula\ ˌdī-​vər-​ˈti-​kyə-​lə How to pronounce diverticulum (audio) \

Definition of diverticulum

1 : an abnormal pouch or sac opening from a hollow organ (such as the intestine or bladder)
2 : a pocket or closed branch opening off a main passage

Other Words from diverticulum

diverticular \ ˌdī-​vər-​ˈti-​kyə-​lər How to pronounce diverticulum (audio) \ adjective

Examples of diverticulum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As pressure increases inside the diverticulum, the cells inside get less blood flow and the wall can burst. Andrea K. Mcdaniels, baltimoresun.com, 7 June 2018 If the diverticulum ruptures, bacteria escape into the abdomen, leading to a more widespread infection. Andrea K. Mcdaniels, baltimoresun.com, 7 June 2018 Zenker’s diverticulum is a pouch that forms where the pharynx, or voicebox, meets the esophagus. Sandra G. Boodman, Washington Post, 17 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'diverticulum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of diverticulum

circa 1819, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for diverticulum

borrowed from New Latin dīverticulum, going back to Latin dēverticulum, dīverticulum "turn off the main road, byway, deviation," from dēvertere "to turn away, divert, make a turn aside/detour" + -i- -i- + -culum, suffix of instruments (going back to *-klom, -tlom) — more at divert

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The first known use of diverticulum was circa 1819

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Cite this Entry

“Diverticulum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diverticulum. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for diverticulum


di·​ver·​tic·​u·​lum | \ ˌdī-vər-ˈtik-yə-ləm How to pronounce diverticulum (audio) \
plural diverticula\ -​lə How to pronounce diverticulum (audio) \

Medical Definition of diverticulum

1 : an abnormal pouch or sac opening from a hollow organ (as the colon or bladder)
2 : a blind tube or sac branching off from a cavity or canal of the body the liver is an anterior diverticulum of the intestine— Gordon Alexander

More from Merriam-Webster on diverticulum

Britannica English: Translation of diverticulum for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about diverticulum


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