small intestine


Definition of small intestine

: the narrow part of the intestine that lies between the stomach and colon, consists of duodenum, jejunum, and ileum, secretes digestive enzymes, and is the chief site of the digestion of food into small molecules which are absorbed into the body

Examples of small intestine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In January, Evans had his right kidney and parts of his pancreas and small intestine removed because of cancer. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Tennessee Titans teammates support UAB’s first NFL player in cancer fight," 27 June 2020 The coronavirus infects cells that line the inside of the large and small intestine, called gut enterocytes. Sharon Begley, STAT, "Watch: From nose to toe, the Covid-19 virus attacks like no other ‘respiratory’ infection," 26 June 2020 What was once contained to his right kidney has moved on to his liver, the lining of his small intestines and even an artery in his leg. Nick Talbot,, "Talbot: Despite prognosis, Bryce Wisdom stays strong," 15 May 2020 The first bullet damaged his small intestine and bladder, and the second one entered his buttocks and lodged near a sciatic nerve, his lawyers say. CBS News, "Chicago police release extended videos of officer shooting unarmed subway rider in the back," 28 Apr. 2020 Now they've been used to show which cells within the small intestine can be infected by the virus. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "May 11 Coronavirus roundup: Symptoms, therapies, and policy confusion," 11 May 2020 View Sample Sign Up Now Instead, the sugar and other components of fruit quickly move farther down the small intestine to the jejunum and ileum. Markham Heid, Time, "Is It Possible To Eat Too Much Fruit?," 6 June 2018 As people ingest food, the body’s normal response is to secrete bile into the small intestine. Houston Chronicle, "Betrayed by bile: bile acids help norovirus sneak into cells," 3 Jan. 2020 Once swallowed by an unsuspecting piglet, the pathogen would travel to the gut and infect and destroy the finger-like nutrient-absorbing projections called villi on the walls of the small intestine. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "A Coronavirus Spread Through U.S. Pigs in 2013. Here’s How It Was Stopped," 10 Apr. 2020

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

1767, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about small intestine

Time Traveler for small intestine

Time Traveler

The first known use of small intestine was in 1767

See more words from the same year

Statistics for small intestine

Last Updated

4 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Small intestine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for small intestine

small intestine


English Language Learners Definition of small intestine

: the long, narrow upper part of the intestine in which food is digested after it leaves the stomach

small intestine


Kids Definition of small intestine

: the long narrow upper part of the intestine in which food is mostly digested and from which digested food is absorbed into the body

small intestine


Medical Definition of small intestine

: the part of the intestine that lies between the stomach and colon, consists of duodenum, jejunum, and ileum, secretes digestive enzymes, and is the chief site of the absorption of digested nutrients

called also small bowel

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on small intestine

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with small intestine

Nglish: Translation of small intestine for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about small intestine

Comments on small intestine

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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