stom·​ach | \ ˈstə-mək How to pronounce stomach (audio) , -mik \

Definition of stomach

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : a saclike expansion of the digestive tract of a vertebrate that is located between the esophagus and duodenum and typically consists of a simple often curved sac with an outer serous covering, a strong muscular wall that contracts rhythmically, and an inner mucous membrane lining that contains gastric glands

Note: In humans, the stomach is located in the upper abdomen, below the esophagus and above the small intestine. It functions mainly to partially digest food by grinding and mixing it with gastric secretions (such as hydrochloric acid and pepsin). Mucus is also secreted to protect the stomach lining from damage by the acidic environment. Once ingested food has been partially digested by the stomach, it is discharged through the pylorus into the duodenum in the form of the semifluid chyme for further digestion.

(2) : one of the compartments making up the stomach of a ruminant animal (such as a cow or sheep) … the rumen, the largest of the four stomachs in an older animal, is undeveloped at birth and is considerably smaller than the abomasum or true stomach.— Norman Barron
b : the part of the body that contains the stomach : belly, abdomen He was punched in the stomach.
c : a cavity in an invertebrate animal that is analogous to a stomach When a leaf containing the bacteria is ingested by the larva of certain insects, the new gene produces a protein that attacks the stomach lining of the insect and causes death.The New York Times
2a : desire for food caused by hunger : appetite After the hike, she had a good stomach for lunch.
b : inclination, desire had no stomach for an argument also : courage, guts
3 obsolete
b : pride


stomached; stomaching; stomachs

Definition of stomach (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to bear without overt reaction or resentment : put up with couldn't stomach office politics
2 archaic : to take offense at

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Synonyms for stomach

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of stomach in a Sentence

Noun She has problems with her stomach. I've had enough to eat. My stomach is full. He was lying on his stomach. Verb I could barely stomach the smell. I can't stomach raw onions.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In order for Lily to eat, Kathy has to blend all of her food and put it through a Gastrostomy Tube that is inserted through a hole in her stomach. Sam Blum, Dallas News, "‘It’s an absolute miracle': Ex-SMU coach Steve Stigall, family navigate life after daughter’s near-fatal accident," 20 Aug. 2020 In its stomach were some thirty pieces of plastic trash, including Ukrainian chicken packaging, a Danish ice-cream wrapper, and a British potato-chip bag. Amia Srinivasan, The New Yorker, "What Have We Done to the Whale?," 17 Aug. 2020 His 19-year-old brother suffered the most, losing 15 pounds, feeling ripped apart by sharp pains in his stomach and visiting the hospital five times to no relief. Janelle Bitker,, "Oakland's newest takeout spot doubles as a food hub for Black-owned pop-ups," 5 Aug. 2020 Try not to let minor hassles in the workspace upset your stomach or equilibrium., "Horoscope," 24 June 2020 Nausea, upset stomach, and diarrhea were among the most common side effects, and none of the side effects were considered serious, according to the study. Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, "Trump said he took hydroxychloroquine to prevent coronavirus, but new study shows that doesn't work," 3 June 2020 Nearly 40% of patients on hydroxychloroquine experienced side effects such as nausea, upset stomach, or diarrhea. Matthew Herper, STAT, "Hydroxychloroquine does not prevent Covid-19 infection if exposed, study says," 3 June 2020 Victims were known to endure fever, chills, upset stomach and diarrhea that turned from red to black over the course of a week. Edward Watts, Smithsonian Magazine, "What Rome Learned From the Deadly Antonine Plague of 165 A.D.," 28 Apr. 2020 Salmonella poisoning can cause diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps between six hours and six days after exposure to the bacteria, according to the CDC, and last between four and seven days. Shelby Lin Erdman, CNN, "Peach recall expanding over possible salmonella contamination after 78 sickened in 12 states," 27 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb If the College Football Playoff unfolds more or less on schedule without Big Ten participation will be impossible for many fans in the greater Midwest to stomach. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "If the Big Ten football can start on Thanksgiving weekend, can’t it start in October? Buckeye Talk Text Q&A," 29 Aug. 2020 Meanwhile, the drug company’s stock is a worthy risk for investors who can stomach a roller-coaster ride. Charley Grant, WSJ, "Biogen Stock Is a Big Risk Worth Taking," 26 Aug. 2020 But none of us can stomach firing him during a time of massive unemployment. Roxane Gay, New York Times, "My Colleagues Have Great Work-Life Balance (Thanks to Childless Me)," 21 Aug. 2020 If title opportunities don’t start piling up, that exorbitant contract will become hard even for UT to stomach. Nick Moyle,, "UT regents set to approve 7-year contract for Vic Schaefer," 18 Aug. 2020 But for now, Xi must stomach the indignity of losing his presidential title. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, "White House language about China shifts to downgrade 'President' Xi Jinping," 13 Aug. 2020 This is the kind of decision an NFL fan will just have to stomach, accept and move on from. Mark Craig, Star Tribune, "Can the NFL finish what it starts in the COVID-19 era?," 29 July 2020 But will the public be able to stomach the lengths to which the NFL might have to go to outpunch a pandemic? Mark Craig, Star Tribune, "Can the NFL finish what it starts in the COVID-19 era?," 29 July 2020 In my case, an eight-month wait for the PC version was easy to stomach. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Why this month’s PC port of Death Stranding is the definitive version," 1 July 2020

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


1523, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for stomach


Middle English stomak, from Anglo-French estomac, from Latin stomachus gullet, esophagus, stomach, from Greek stomachos, from stoma mouth; akin to Middle Breton staffn mouth, Avestan staman-

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Time Traveler for stomach

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for stomach

Last Updated

12 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stomach.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for stomach


How to pronounce stomach (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of stomach

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the organ in your body where food goes and begins to be digested after you swallow it
: the part of your body that contains the stomach
: the desire, courage, etc., that is needed to do or accept something difficult or unpleasant



English Language Learners Definition of stomach (Entry 2 of 2)

: to accept or experience (something unpleasant) without becoming sick, upset, etc.
: to eat (something) without getting a sick or unpleasant feeling in your stomach


stom·​ach | \ ˈstə-mək How to pronounce stomach (audio) \

Kids Definition of stomach

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the pouch into which food passes from the esophagus for mixing and digestion before passing to the small intestine
2 : the part of the body that contains the stomach : abdomen The ball hit him in the stomach.
3 : desire entry 2 sense 1, liking She had no stomach for trouble.


stomached; stomaching

Kids Definition of stomach (Entry 2 of 2)

: to bear patiently : put up with I couldn't stomach their rude behavior.


stom·​ach | \ ˈstəm-ək, -ik How to pronounce stomach (audio) \

Medical Definition of stomach

1a : a saclike expansion of the digestive tract of a vertebrate communicating anteriorly with the esophagus and posteriorly with the duodenum and being typically a simple often curved sac with an outer serous coat, a strong complex muscular wall that contracts rhythmically, and a mucous lining membrane that contains gastric glands
b : one of the compartments of a ruminant stomach the abomasum is the fourth stomach of a ruminant
2 : a cavity in an invertebrate animal that is analogous to a stomach
3 : the part of the body that contains the stomach : belly, abdomen

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