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
a : spirit, valor
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

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 So, how can symptoms that happen way down in the stomach have anything to do with the above-the-neck signs that most people associate with a migraine? Sara Lindberg, SELF, 7 Jan. 2022 Hilaria Baldwin is not letting a stomach bug interfere with her time with her kids. Vanessa Etienne,, 6 Jan. 2022 The other man fired at Howard and the 19-year-old dove back into the car but had been shot in the stomach, his uncle said. oregonlive, 6 Jan. 2022 Patterson is accused of shooting Oberlin resident Lee Martin, 33, in the stomach. Cheryl Higley, cleveland, 30 Dec. 2021 He’d been shot in the stomach in the western city of Cali, and believed that rumors of his intention to cooperate with U.S. authorities had put a target on his back. Anchorage Daily News, 27 Dec. 2021 Keep a playdate while a stomach bug is going around? Bonnie Kristian, The Week, 4 Aug. 2021 Physical Health Luciano Grubissich, medical director of Family First, which offers caregiving-support benefits, saw more caregivers in the past year suffering from headaches, stomach aches and insomnia connected with stress and burnout. WSJ, 29 Dec. 2021 Even otherwise healthy people, Sears said, can occasionally develop complications beyond stomach discomfort, including reactive arthritis. Rachel Gutman, The Atlantic, 29 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Fake cheeseburgers are one thing, but ‘Impossible Pork’ was just too much to stomach for one authority. WSJ, 2 Jan. 2022 They were complicated just as everyone is, but their deaths are a reminder that the culture has little ability to stomach nuance and complexity, shades of gray and the middle ground. Washington Post, 29 Dec. 2021 Legislative sausage-making is seldom a pretty process, but most Americans are willing to stomach that fact if the end results benefit them. Regina Thomson, Fortune, 1 Dec. 2021 Up close, their painful demise is almost impossible to stomach. Eleanor Cummins, The New Republic, 15 Sep. 2021 The key, experts said, is for investors to learn to stomach them and ride out the inevitable ups and downs. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, 21 Dec. 2021 After a massive meal, there are some among us who couldn’t stomach the thought of a full dessert. Jeremy Repanich, Robb Report, 9 Nov. 2021 After two years of urgent daily news about a global pandemic and the economy and the supply chain, maybe corporate absurdity is just that much harder to stomach. Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, 21 Dec. 2021 Erasing the ticket guarantee, the city reasoned, would allow the sides to work together in a way taxpayers could stomach. San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Dec. 2021

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

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Last Updated

16 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Stomach.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for stomach



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

More from Merriam-Webster on stomach

Nglish: Translation of stomach for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stomach for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about stomach


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