intestine

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

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

When kids swallow more than one powerful magnet, the objects can attract each inside the intestines, boring holes into the abdomen that can lead to life-threatening blood poisoning. Lindsey Tanner, The Seattle Times, "Swallowed toys, coins, batteries spark rise in tot ER visits," 12 Apr. 2019 The primary way your body keeps food particles, bacteria, and toxins—actual toxins—inside the intestines (and outside the bloodstream) is thanks to the intestinal membrane, which is lined with finger-like villi, Dr. Singh explains. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Leaky Gut Syndrome Isn’t an Official Diagnosis, but the Symptoms Are Real," 19 Mar. 2019 Malnourishment or dehydration Cancer can interfere with the function of your all-important digestive system, which is comprised of organs like your stomach, pancreas, and intestines. Korin Miller, SELF, "How Does Cancer Actually Kill Someone?," 15 Mar. 2019 But the microorganisms inhabiting our intestines have no such problems. SELF, "Why This Registered Dietitian Tells (Some of) Her Patients to Avoid Kale Salads," 30 Nov. 2018 There's no single cure for IBS, which may be caused by a glitch in how the nerves of the intestine send messages to the brain (experts aren't really sure). Janis Graham, Redbook, "Queasy? Bloated? Here's How to Cure Your Stomachache, Fast," 28 Nov. 2017 These fiber supplements absorb liquid in the intestines and swell up to form a large, soft, bulky stool, the presence of which prompts a normal bowel movement. Korin Miller, SELF, "5 Things You Need To Know About Using Laxatives For Weight Loss," 2 Jan. 2019 Sweeteners such as saccharin have been shown to change the type and function of the gut microbiome, the community of microorganisms that live in the intestine. Eunice Zhang, Washington Post, "Diet drinks may seem like a good idea, but their effects may surprise you," 3 June 2018 McClellan was diagnosed with stage 3 endometrial cancer in March and the disease eventually spread to her colon, bladder, and intestines, according to a GoFundMe page that was created to offset some of her medical expenses. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'The Voice' Star Beverly McClellan Has Died of Cancer at 49," 1 Nov. 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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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 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 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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