\ ˈsplēn How to pronounce spleen (audio) \

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for spleen



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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

Examples of spleen in a Sentence

vented her spleen and felt much better for having done so the bill's failure to pass in the legislature was due to nothing more than partisan spleen
Recent Examples on the Web The virus was later found lurking in the pig’s spleen. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 May 2022 Aiden's heart was beating too fast and an ultrasound found that his liver and spleen were enlarged. jsonline.com, 29 Apr. 2022 Burkholderia pseudomallei in the boy's lungs, liver, spleen and brain. Gabriela Miranda, USA TODAY, 3 Mar. 2022 Last spring, Krzos was a middle hitter on Lockport’s historic team that made its first state appearance, but he was diagnosed with an enlarged spleen in the postseason. Jeff Vorva, chicagotribune.com, 13 Apr. 2022 The bullet went through her chest, shredded the bottom of her lung, fractured her ribs and scraped her spleen. Jake Allen, The Indianapolis Star, 15 Apr. 2022 Kelly was told his spleen would have to be removed if the bleeding didn't stop. Charmaine Patterson, PEOPLE.com, 29 Mar. 2022 The bullets that hit Bailey, perforated his heart, left lung and diaphragm, in addition to penetrating his spleen, triggering massive blood loss that lead to his death, according to the coroner's report. Celina Tebor, USA TODAY, 9 Feb. 2022 Cam nails it with a MacGyver flourish, closing the wound with her hair clip when the spleen bursts. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, 9 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of spleen

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for 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

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The first known use of spleen was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near spleen



spleen amaranth

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Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Spleen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spleen. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for spleen


\ ˈsplēn How to pronounce spleen (audio) \

Kids Definition of spleen

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


\ ˈsplēn How to pronounce spleen (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on spleen

Nglish: Translation of spleen for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spleen for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about spleen


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