intestine

adjective
in·​tes·​tine | \in-ˈte-stən \

Definition of intestine 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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

intestine

noun

Definition of intestine (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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?

Adjective

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

The debris could have blocked the pyloric sphincter, the part of the stomach that empties into the intestines, and prevented the animal’s stomach from emptying. David Doubilet, National Geographic, "How a Seal Pup Died With a Plastic Wrapper in Its Stomach," 31 May 2018 The shot doesn’t hurt, because the intestines don’t have sharp pain receptors like those under the skin. Mike Feibus, USA TODAY, "Afraid of needles? These start-ups are working on alternatives," 8 July 2018 Instead, the analysis revealed that the layer of green was saturated in arsenic, a highly toxic substance known to irritate the stomach, intestines and lungs, as well as induce nausea, diarrhea and skin changes. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Arsenic-Laced Books Discovered in University Library," 3 July 2018 Josie had had surgery on her stomach, intestines and elbow. Marina Pitofsky, USA TODAY, "Dog becomes first to survive clinical trial for one of the most deadly pet cancers," 13 June 2018 As variety meats go, intestines are not at the top of my list. Pete Wells, New York Times, "A Celebration of Black Southern Food, at JuneBaby in Seattle," 15 Mar. 2018 The team take specimens of brain, spinal cord, lungs, heart, kidneys, liver, spleen, muscle, bone marrow, adrenal glands, thyroid, lymph nodes, genital-tract tissues, foreskin and intestine. The Economist, "HIV+ volunteers are bequeathing their organs to a new project," 31 May 2018 The first bullet ripped through his stomach, shredding his intestines. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Deer Park Pinto Maroon all-stars topple Conroe for berth in Directors title game," 2 June 2018 Our intestines are an extensive, inaccessible tangle of tubes, full of dark tucks and turns. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "This capsule of glowing E. coli will probe your gut for signs of trouble," 25 May 2018

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

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for intestine

Adjective

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

Noun

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

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Time Traveler for intestine

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

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More Definitions for intestine

intestine

noun

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 \

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 \

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 plural the movement of digested food through your intestinesMayo Clinic Health Letter — see large intestine, small intestine

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More from Merriam-Webster on intestine

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with intestine

Spanish Central: Translation of intestine

Nglish: Translation of intestine for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of intestine for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about intestine

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