en·​e·​ma | \ ˈe-nə-mə How to pronounce enema (audio) \
plural enemas also enemata\ ˌe-​nə-​ˈmä-​tə How to pronounce enemata (audio) , ˈe-​nə-​mə-​tə \

Definition of enema

1 : the injection of liquid into the rectum and colon by way of the anus
2 : material for injection as an enema

Examples of enema in a Sentence

The nurse gave the patient an enema.

Recent Examples on the Web

According to the autopsy report, the couple suffered respiratory failure and fluid accumulation in their lungs, with Day also suffering a cerebral enema, though the cause of the fatal episodes was not clear and toxicology results are still pending. Steve Helling, PEOPLE.com, "Colorado Couple Says They Became Violently Sick at Dominican Resort Where 3 Americans Died," 7 June 2019 Hutchins administered the enema to the baby after asking her mother for permission because the child seemed constipated, police believe. Chris Harris, PEOPLE.com, "Maryland Babysitter Allegedly Poisoned 6-Month-Old Girl With Enema Containing Lidocaine," 16 Apr. 2018 Other such treatments in history included cigarettes laced with mercury or arsenic, port-wine enemas, the excreta of chameleons and Indian river snakes, and the gastric juices of crows. Adrian Woolfson, WSJ, "‘The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth’ Review: Desperate Remedies," 12 Dec. 2018 In particular, enemas as a means of detoxification have been discouraged for nearly a century. Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post, "Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle 'detox guide' promotes coffee enema. Experts say it's bogus.," 8 Jan. 2018 Elsewhere, reports have linked coffee enemas to burns, infections, sepsis, and rectal perforation. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "In “triumph of ignorance,” Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop touts $135 coffee enema," 6 Jan. 2018 Some of the most promising research involves fecal transplantation — the introduction through colonoscopy, endoscopy or enema of a donor stool. Fortune, "Why Washing Your Hands Too Much Could Make You Sick," 12 June 2018 His doctors bled him and gave him enemas to no avail. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "The Legendary Sultan Saladin Was Likely Killed by Typhoid," 8 May 2018 The tests were rigorous and often unpleasant, including daily enemas and having vertigo induced by having ice water squirted in their ears. Kat Eschner, Outside Online, "One Small Step for a Woman, One Giant Leap for Mankind," 27 Apr. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of enema

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for enema

Late Latin, from Greek, from enienai to inject, from en- + hienai to send — more at jet

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about enema

Dictionary Entries near enema



en effet



enemy alien

enemy territory

Statistics for enema

Last Updated

22 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for enema

The first known use of enema was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for enema



English Language Learners Definition of enema

medical : a procedure in which liquid is forced into the intestines through the anus in order to make solid waste pass from the body also : the liquid that is used for an enema


en·​e·​ma | \ ˈen-ə-mə How to pronounce enema (audio) \
plural enemas also enemata\ ˌen-​ə-​ˈmät-​ə How to pronounce enemata (audio) , ˈen-​ə-​mə-​tə How to pronounce enemata (audio) \

Medical Definition of enema

1 : the injection of liquid into the rectum and colon by way of the anus (as for cleansing or examination)
2 : the liquid injected by an enema

More from Merriam-Webster on enema

Spanish Central: Translation of enema

Comments on enema

What made you want to look up enema? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to shake or wave menacingly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!