pan·cre·as | \ˈpaŋ-krē-əs, ˈpan-\

Definition of pancreas 

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

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Other Words from pancreas

pancreatic \ˌpaŋ-krē-ˈa-tik, ˌpan- \ adjective

Examples of pancreas in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The disease causes an overabundance of mucus, which traps infections and blocks airways in the lungs, complicates digestion, affects the pancreas and other organs and, eventually, leads to respiratory failure. Jessica Ravitz, CNN, "Search for new lungs begins with changed heart," 23 May 2018 Jay Crouch received two new kidneys, a liver, a small intestine and pancreas from a single donor. Fox News, "7-year-old boy recovering after 5-organ transplant surgery," 25 Apr. 2018 Of those people currently on the US transplant waitlist, 81 percent need a kidney, 12 percent need a liver, and the rest need a heart, lung, pancreas, or intestine. Ted Alcorn, Vox, "Thousands of organs are lost before they can be donated. Here’s how to save them.," 23 Apr. 2018 He was released Friday from Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia, after being treated for broken vertebrae, a torn pancreas and other injuries. Author: Christine Hauser, Anchorage Daily News, "Friends rescue snowboarder swept away by avalanche in Canadian backcountry," 27 Apr. 2018 In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas can still make some insulin. Daniel Wilson, sacbee, "Study shows tuberculosis vaccine may reverse Type 1 diabetes," 21 June 2018 Adoptive cell transfer has been less effective in cancers that start in the lining of organs, like breast, prostate, pancreas and colon. Todd Ackerman, Houston Chronicle, "Immunotherapy defeats a breast cancer that had defied other treatments," 5 June 2018 Former Senator Harry Reid, a Democrat of Nevada, has undergone surgery to remove a tumor in his pancreas, his family said in a statement on Monday. Maya Rhodan, Time, "Former Senator Harry Reid Underwent Surgery for Pancreatic Cancer," 14 May 2018 The University of Michigan Health System and Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore require annual minimums for esophagus, lung, pancreas and rectal cancer operations. Marie Mccullough,, "Need cancer surgery in Pennsylvania? New online tool can help with the decision," 3 May 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.

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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

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Statistics for pancreas

Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pancreas

The first known use of pancreas was in 1578

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More Definitions for pancreas



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


pan·cre·as | \ˈpaŋ-krē-əs \

Kids Definition of pancreas

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


pan·cre·as | \ˈpaŋ-krē-əs, ˈpan- \
plural pancreases also pancreata\pan-ˈkrē-ət-ə \

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

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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 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).


to reject or criticize sharply

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