pancreas

noun
pan·​cre·​as | \ ˈpaŋ-krē-əs How to pronounce pancreas (audio) , ˈpan-\

Definition of pancreas

: a large lobulated gland of vertebrates that secretes digestive enzymes and the hormones insulin and glucagon

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from pancreas

pancreatic \ ˌpaŋ-​krē-​ˈa-​tik How to pronounce pancreatic (audio) , ˌpan-​ \ adjective

Examples of pancreas in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Pancreatitis is a condition in which those enzymes damage the pancreas and cause inflammation. Korin Miller, SELF, "What Is Pancreatitis, the Condition that Lead to Comedian Kevin Barnett’s Death?," 25 Jan. 2019 Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction where the body destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin, a hormone needed to allow glucose (sugar) to enter your cells to produce energy, the Mayo Clinic explains. Korin Miller, SELF, "The Diabetes Symptom That Finally Helped Nick Jonas Get a Diagnosis," 19 Nov. 2018 Environmental and genetic factors can lead to the destruction of the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About a Diabetic Diet," 23 Aug. 2017 The findings suggest that verapamil helps stop the ongoing damage to the pancreas caused by Type 1 diabetes, Shalev said. NBC News, "Cheap blood pressure drug might slow diabetes," 9 July 2018 Experiments on animals in which certain molecular clock genes were deactivated in the pancreas showed that the animals acted normally, only to later develop diabetes. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Why You Should Have Heart Surgery in the Afternoon," 26 Dec. 2018 Type 1 diabetes, the type Jonas has, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas makes little or no insulin. Korin Miller, SELF, "The Diabetes Symptom That Finally Helped Nick Jonas Get a Diagnosis," 19 Nov. 2018 This occurs when the pancreas, a large gland that secretes digestive enzymes, becomes inflamed, often due to an excess of alcohol. Janis Graham, Redbook, "Queasy? Bloated? Here's How to Cure Your Stomachache, Fast," 28 Nov. 2017 This causes damage and makes the pancreas unable to properly produce insulin. Jennifer Lavallee, SELF, "5 Things I’m Sick of Hearing as Someone With Type 1 Diabetes," 29 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pancreas.' 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 pancreas

1578, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pancreas

New Latin, from Greek pankreas sweetbread, from pan- + kreas flesh, meat — more at raw

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pancreas

Statistics for pancreas

Last Updated

23 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pancreas

The first known use of pancreas was in 1578

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pancreas

pancreas

noun

English Language Learners Definition of pancreas

: a large gland of the body that is near the stomach and that produces insulin and other substances that help the body digest food

pancreas

noun
pan·​cre·​as | \ ˈpaŋ-krē-əs How to pronounce pancreas (audio) \

Kids Definition of pancreas

: a large gland near the stomach that produces insulin and a fluid ( pancreatic juice ) with enzymes that aid digestion

pancreas

noun
pan·​cre·​as | \ ˈpaŋ-krē-əs, ˈpan- How to pronounce pancreas (audio) \
plural pancreases also pancreata\ pan-​ˈkrē-​ət-​ə How to pronounce pancreata (audio) \

Medical Definition of pancreas

: a large lobulated gland that in humans lies in front of the upper lumbar vertebrae and behind the stomach and is somewhat hammer-shaped and firmly attached anteriorly to the curve of the duodenum with which it communicates through one or more pancreatic ducts and that consists of (1) tubular acini secreting digestive enzymes which pass to the intestine and function in the breakdown of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates; (2) modified acinar cells that form islets of Langerhans between the tubules and secrete the hormones insulin and glucagon; and (3) a firm connective-tissue capsule that extends supportive strands into the organ

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on pancreas

Spanish Central: Translation of pancreas

Nglish: Translation of pancreas for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pancreas for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pancreas

Comments on pancreas

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

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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