du·​o·​de·​num ˌdü-ə-ˈdē-nəm How to pronounce duodenum (audio) du̇-ˈä-də-nəm How to pronounce duodenum (audio)
 also  (ˌ)dyü-
plural duodena ˌdü-ə-ˈdē-nə How to pronounce duodenum (audio)
or duodenums
: the first part of the small intestine extending from the pylorus to the jejunum

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Roker was admitted to the ICU for the first time and went through multiple surgeries to resection his colon, remove his gallbladder and fix his duodenum, the first part of the small intestine. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, 6 Jan. 2023 To rectify the issue, the medical professionals had to resect Roker’s colon, remove his gallbladder, and perform an operation on his duodenum. Elizabeth Ayoola, Essence, 8 Nov. 2020 Doctors resectioned his colon, took out his gallbladder and operated on his duodenum, part of the small intestine. Staff Author, Peoplemag, 6 Jan. 2023 The duodenum contains a large population of nutrient-sensing cells, which are removed or bypassed during surgery. Bob Holmes, Discover Magazine, 21 Nov. 2018 The closer a pill lands to the antrum, the last part of the stomach before the intestine, the faster the pill begins to dissolve and find its way through the pylorus into the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine. Scott Lafee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Sep. 2022 Use Sherlock Holmesian deduction to locate the start of Nordic Flower (5.14b) among a bewildering grouping of quickdraws dangling like villi in the duodenum of Scandinavian jotun. Jeff Jackson, Outside Online, 28 July 2022 Gastroduodenal occurs when your stomach and the top of the small intestine (your duodenum) are inflamed. SELF, 11 Feb. 2022 And that led to development of what's called the sweat test, which really took the place of that putting the tube down the throat and getting samples of the secretions and the duodenum for making the diagnosis. Katie Hafner, Scientific American, 11 Nov. 2021 See More

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

Word History


Middle English, from Medieval Latin, from Latin duodeni twelve each, from duodecim twelve; from its length, about 12 fingers' breadth

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of duodenum was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near duodenum

Cite this Entry

“Duodenum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/duodenum. Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


plural duodena -ˈdē-nə How to pronounce duodenum (audio)
or duodenums
: the first part of the small intestine extending from the opening from the stomach into the small intestine to the jejunum
duodenal adjective

Medical Definition


plural duodena -ˈdē-nə, -ᵊn-ə How to pronounce duodenum (audio) or duodenums
: the first, shortest, and widest part of the small intestine that in humans is about 10 inches (25 centimeters) long and that extends from the pylorus to the undersurface of the liver where it descends for a variable distance and receives the bile and pancreatic ducts and then bends to the left and finally upward to join the jejunum near the second lumbar vertebra
duodenal adjective

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