rec·tum | \ˈrek-təm \
plural rectums or recta\ˈrek-tə \

Definition of rectum 

: the terminal part of the intestine from the sigmoid colon to the anus

Examples of rectum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Large or hard poop can fill the rectum and put more pressure on the bladder, which can cause nighttime bed-wetting and even daytime accidents. Mary Caldwell, ajc, "7 ways to bed-wetting to rest for your child," 2 July 2018 The colon is the large intestine, which is a tube in the abdomen about 5 feet long that helps move solid stool from the small intestine to the rectum. Andrea K. Mcdaniels,, "Diverticulitis can cause digestive problems for some," 7 June 2018 As Johns Hopkins Medicine explains, the ENS is made up of two thin layers of more than 100 million nerve cells lining your gastrointestinal tract from your esophagus to your rectum. Korin Miller, SELF, "Olympic Figure Skater Adam Rippon Speaks the Truth About Nervous Poops," 6 Apr. 2018 Another drawing shows a man's rectum being forced open. Maggie Michael, Fox News, "Yemeni prisoners say Emirati officers sexually torture them," 21 June 2018 That will prevent it from slipping past your constricted anal sphincter into your rectum. Lindsey Lanquist, SELF, "7 Things You Just Really Shouldn't Use as Toys During Masturbation," 3 Mar. 2018 The General Medical Council has also barred Dixon from performing another type of surgery, the STARR procedure — which stands for stapled transanal resection of the rectum — until 2018, according to the Telegraph. Marwa Eltagouri, ajc, "A doctor removed her ovaries because they were ‘in the way.’ She committed suicide," 30 May 2018 Most cases start as noncancerous polyps in the lining of the large intestine or the rectum. Consumer Reports, Washington Post, "Exercise and diet can help lower your risk of colon cancer," 22 Jan. 2018 Then, the images are put together to make 2D and 3D views of the inside of your colon and rectum to allow doctors to look for polyps or cancer. Korin Miller, SELF, "The American Cancer Society Wants You to Start Colorectal Cancer Screening Earlier," 1 June 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rectum

Middle English, from Medieval Latin, from rectum intestinum, literally, straight intestine

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rectus in curia


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Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

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

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English Language Learners Definition of rectum

medical : the end of the tube in your body that helps digest food : the last part of the large intestine


rec·tum | \ˈrek-təm \
plural rectums also recta\-tə \

Kids Definition of rectum

: the last part of the large intestine


rec·tum | \ˈrek-təm \
plural rectums or recta\-tə \

Medical Definition of rectum 

: the terminal part of the intestine from the sigmoid colon to the anus

More from Merriam-Webster on rectum

Spanish Central: Translation of rectum Encyclopedia article about rectum

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