intestine was our Word of the Day on 07/27/2012. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
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.
Recent Examples of intestine from the Web
Norovirus is a stomach bug that causes inflammation of the stomach or intestines.
When that meat is consumed, digestive acids dissolve the hard covering of the cyst and release the larvae, which then grow into worms that reproduce in the intestines.
A quarter of a mile away, in the neighboring Korogocho slum that shelters 150,000 of Nairobi’s poorest people, Akoko encountered a middle-aged woman laboring over a large, uncovered pot of simmering chicken intestines.
The reason? Prostaglandins — the same chemicals that trigger cramps — can also cause your intestines to contract, giving you that gotta-go-now feeling.
Our intestines are packed with bacteria that work hand in hand with our immune system to limit the growth of pathogens and control GI disorders like Crohn's disease, IBD, and ulcerative colitis.
The dog traces its roots to ancient Rome, where an enterprising fellow saw a too-hot empty pig’s intestine puff up and got the idea to stuff it with meats.
The doctors speculate that ingesting the bacteria-crammed capsules elevated the GBS levels in the mother’s intestines and/or on her skin.
In four of nine patients—whose intestines had been biopsied before, during, and after the infection—
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.
Origin and Etymology of intestine
Middle English, from Middle French intestin, from Latin intestinum, from neuter of intestinus
INTESTINE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of intestine for English Language Learners
: a long tube in the body that helps digest food after it leaves the stomach
INTESTINE Defined for Kids
Definition of intestine for Students
: 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
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 intestines—Mayo Clinic Health Letter; see large intestine, small intestine
Seen and Heard
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