intestine

noun
in·​tes·​tine | \ in-ˈte-stən How to pronounce intestine (audio) \

Definition of intestine

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the tubular part of the digestive tract that extends from the stomach to the anus — compare large intestine, small intestine

intestine

adjective

Definition of intestine (Entry 2 of 2)

: internal specifically : of or relating to the internal affairs of a state or country intestine war

Illustration of intestine

Illustration of intestine

Noun

intestine: A large intestine,B small intestine

In the meaning defined above

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Did You Know?

Noun

We bet you thought "intestine" was a noun referring to a part of the digestive system! It is, of course, but naming that internal body part isn't the word's only function. Both the noun and the adjective "intestine" have been a part of English since the 15th century, and both trace to the Latin adjective intestinus, meaning "internal," and ultimately to intus, meaning "within." Though the adjective "intestine" turns up much less frequently than does its anatomical cousin, it does see occasional use, especially as a synonym for "civil" and "domestic" (in contrast to "foreign") applied to wars and disturbances.

Examples of intestine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Black grubs start in the intestines of birds, which transfer the fluke eggs to snails through feces. Joe Genzel, Outdoor Life, "10 Common Parasites and Diseases Found in Game Fish (and What You Need to Know About Them)," 27 May 2020 Many of them live in the intestines of humans and animals and are considered healthy, with some aiding in food digestion. Monique Brouillette, Scientific American, "Decoding the Vaginal Microbiome," 28 Feb. 2020 Another theory suggests diet changes have affected the microbes that live in our intestines and influence our immune systems. Alexia Elejalde-ruiz, chicagotribune.com, "Halloween doesn’t have to stink for kids with food allergies. Just look for the teal pumpkins.," 25 Oct. 2019 Researchers now consider fiber’s role in nourishing our gut microbiome — the ecosystem of microbes in our intestines — to be one of its main health benefits. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Nearly all Americans fail to eat enough of this actual superfood," 15 July 2019 When used in the proper formula, these probiotics can improve a dog’s digestive health by balancing the levels of bacteria in your pet’s intestines. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Supplements to Keep Your Dog Healthy," 24 Apr. 2020 An autopsy found a large amount of plastic waste in her intestines that had caused gastritis and blood infection. USA TODAY, "Coronavirus travel restrictions in Thailand allow shy wildlife to emerge," 23 Apr. 2020 An autopsy found a large amount of plastic waste in her intestines that had caused gastritis and blood infection. NBC News, "Thailand's tourist drought leaves space for shy sea mammal," 23 Apr. 2020 Doctors had placed him on blood-thinners to help but the medication only caused other problems, dropping in his blood pressure and internal bleeding in his intestines. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "Nick Cordero's Wife Says His Body Is 'Responding Well' to Surgery After Leg Amputation," 20 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Similarly, it could potentially be used to create intestine organoids to look at how sets of enzymes process food, giving information on Neanderthal diet. Katie Hunt, CNN, "Scientists have grown mini brains containing Neanderthal DNA," 18 June 2020

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

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First Known Use of intestine

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for intestine

Noun

Middle English, from Middle French intestin, from Latin intestinum, from neuter of intestinus

Adjective

Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French intestin, from Latin intestinus, from intus within — more at ent-

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Time Traveler for intestine

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

9 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Intestine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intestine. Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for intestine

intestine

noun
How to pronounce intestine (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of intestine

: a long tube in the body that helps digest food after it leaves the stomach

intestine

noun
in·​tes·​tine | \ in-ˈte-stən How to pronounce intestine (audio) \

Kids Definition of intestine

: the lower part of the digestive canal that is a long tube made up of the small intestine and large intestine and in which most of the digestion and absorption of food occurs and through which waste material passes to be discharged

intestine

noun
in·​tes·​tine | \ in-ˈtes-tən How to pronounce intestine (audio) \

Medical Definition of intestine

: the tubular portion of the digestive tract that lies posterior to the stomach from which it is separated by the pyloric sphincter and consists of a slender but long anterior part made up of the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum which function in digestion and assimilation of nutrients and a broader shorter posterior part made up of the cecum, colon, and rectum which function in resorption of water from the by-products of digestion and formation of the feces often used in pluralthe movement of digested food through your intestinesMayo Clinic Health Letter — see large intestine, small intestine

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