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

Examples of diverticulum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web People with a history of Zenker’s diverticulum, dysphagia, esophageal stricture, eosinophilic esophagitis, or achalasia. Korin Miller, Health, 10 Feb. 2023 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'diverticulum.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

circa 1819, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of diverticulum was circa 1819

Dictionary Entries Near diverticulum

Cite this Entry

“Diverticulum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diverticulum. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition


di·​ver·​tic·​u·​lum ˌdī-vər-ˈtik-yə-ləm How to pronounce diverticulum (audio)
plural diverticula -lə How to pronounce diverticulum (audio)
: an abnormal pouch or sac opening from a hollow organ (as the colon or bladder)
: a blind tube or sac branching off from a cavity or canal of the body
the liver is an anterior diverticulum of the intestineGordon Alexander

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