spleen

play
noun \ ˈsplēn \

Definition of spleen

1 :a highly vascular ductless organ that is located in the left abdominal region near the stomach or intestine of most vertebrates and is concerned with final destruction of red blood cells, filtration and storage of blood, and production of lymphocytes
2 obsolete :the seat of emotions or passions
3 archaic :melancholy
4 :feelings of anger or ill will often suppressed
5 obsolete :a sudden impulse or whim :caprice

Examples of spleen in a Sentence

  1. vented her spleen and felt much better for having done so

  2. the bill's failure to pass in the legislature was due to nothing more than partisan spleen

Recent Examples of spleen from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spleen.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of spleen

Middle English splen, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French espleen, from Latin splen, from Greek splēn; akin to Latin lien spleen, Sanskrit plīhan

Synonym Discussion of spleen

malice, malevolence, ill will, spite, malignity, spleen, grudge mean the desire to see another experience pain, injury, or distress. malice implies a deep-seated often unexplainable desire to see another suffer.
    • felt no malice toward their former enemies
malevolence suggests a bitter persistent hatred that is likely to be expressed in malicious conduct.
    • a look of dark malevolence
ill will implies a feeling of antipathy of limited duration.
    • ill will provoked by a careless remark
spite implies petty feelings of envy and resentment that are often expressed in small harassments.
    • petty insults inspired by spite
malignity implies deep passion and relentlessness.
    • a life consumed by motiveless malignity
spleen suggests the wrathful release of latent spite or persistent malice.
    • venting his spleen against politicians
grudge implies a harbored feeling of resentment or ill will that seeks satisfaction.
    • never one to harbor a grudge


SPLEEN Defined for English Language Learners

spleen

play
noun

Definition of spleen for English Language Learners

  • : an organ located near your stomach that destroys worn-out red blood cells and produces white blood cells

  • : feelings of anger


SPLEEN Defined for Kids

spleen

play
noun \ ˈsplēn \

Definition of spleen for Students

:an organ near the stomach that destroys worn-out red blood cells and produces some of the white blood cells

Medical Dictionary

spleen

play
noun \ ˈsplēn \

medical Definition of spleen

:a highly vascular ductless abdominal organ of vertebrates that resembles a gland in organization but is closely associated with the circulatory system, that plays a role in the final destruction of red blood cells, filtration and storage of blood, and production of lymphocytes, and that in humans is a dark purplish flattened oblong object of a soft fragile consistency lying near the cardiac end of the stomach and consisting largely of blood and lymphoid tissue enclosed in a fibroelastic capsule from which trabeculae ramify through the tissue of the organ which is divisible into a loose friable red pulp in intimate connection with the blood supply and with red blood cells free in its interstices and a denser white pulp chiefly of lymphoid tissue condensed in masses about the small arteries


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