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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Using the tip of the knife, reach inside the crab and remove the stomach. Ann Maloney, Washington Post, 7 June 2022 After a gig in Philadelphia, Notaro was hospitalized, with internal bleeding, and had to have stomach surgery. Dana Goodyear, The New Yorker, 6 June 2022 Additionally, NSAIDs can lead to serious gastrointestinal damage, including bleeding, ulceration, and fatal perforation of the stomach and intestine. Chris Smith, BGR, 3 June 2022 The strains are effective in treating stomach irritation caused by esophageal reflux and bacterial overgrowths. The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 June 2022 All of those medicines, as well as nizatidine (Axid), are called histamine 2 blockers, and all are good choices for occasional stomach upset from excess acid reflux. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 2 June 2022 Helicobacter pylori bacteria reside in the stomach and small intestines of at least 30% of the population. Joshua Cohen, Forbes, 1 June 2022 Speak to his stomach and sense of adventure with Universal Yums‘ monthly subscription. Nicole Charky-chami, The Hollywood Reporter, 31 May 2022 Interviews this week with Republican senators revealed little stomach for the sort of sprawling bill that Florida Republicans passed in 2018. Mike Debonis, Anchorage Daily News, 30 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Schools with billionaire boosters can stomach spending millions for unproven recruits in the name of an SEC title. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Apr. 2022 But my light-sleeping partner can’t stomach a night with no Zzs. Kristin Scharkey, Sunset Magazine, 29 Mar. 2022 The Rams were still in the running for a high playoff seed as well, and McVay couldn't stomach going 0-2 to Kingsbury in the same year. Dana Scott, The Arizona Republic, 11 Jan. 2022 But there is a chance the Fed overdoes it by raising rates faster than the economy, or financial markets, can stomach. Matt Egan, CNN, 31 Dec. 2021 And neither the government nor the people can stomach another round of severe pandemic restrictions. Glen Retief, The New Republic, 18 Dec. 2021 But instead, taxpayers, employers, and workers have continued to stomach higher health care premiums. Bob Herman, STAT, 14 May 2022 Body Politic’s Vázquez told me, and some are willing to stomach a bit of risk. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 10 May 2022 That depends on how much volatility an investor is willing to stomach, Prof. Lettau says. Mark Hulbert, WSJ, 7 May 2022 See More

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.

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

9 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Stomach.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for 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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