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 : 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
c : the part of the body that contains the stomach : belly, abdomen He was punched in the stomach.
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 archaic : to take offense at
2 : to bear without overt reaction or resentment : put up with couldn't stomach office politics

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Synonyms for stomach

Synonyms: Noun

abdomen, belly, breadbasket [slang], gut, solar plexus, tummy

Synonyms: Verb

abide, absorb, accept, bear, bide [chiefly dialect], brook, countenance, endure, go, hack, handle, meet, pocket, stand, stick out, support, sustain, sweat out, take, tolerate, wear [British]

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Examples of stomach in a Sentence


She has problems with her stomach. I've had enough to eat. My stomach is full. He was lying on his stomach.


I could barely stomach the smell. I can't stomach raw onions.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Researchers have found the fossilized remains of a new species of lizard inside the stomach of a small flying dinosaur known as a microraptor. Fox News, "Mysterious new lizard found inside 125-million-year-old flying dinosaur," 12 July 2019 Cousin was shot in the head and chest, and Collins had been shot in the back and stomach. Phil Helsel, NBC News, "Arrest made in quadruple homicide that left two adults, two kids dead in Cleveland," 11 July 2019 Deer have four-chambered stomachs and eating objects that can’t be digested can leave them malnourished and weakened. Washington Post, "9 deer at famed park in Japan die after eating plastic bags," 10 July 2019 To reduce marijuana’s effects on a dog, Black said, there are a few options: Veterinarians can induce vomiting, pump a dog’s stomach or give the dog activated charcoal, which will help remove the marijuana from the dog’s system. Laura Klivans,, "Legal weed’s a growing danger to dogs, so keep your canine out of your cannabis," 10 July 2019 Gauff, whose stomach was bothering her, called the trainer to the court. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, "Wimbledon 2019: The Moment When It Looked Like Coco Gauff Would Never Lose," 8 July 2019 Two videos showing grocery store shoppers licking a tub of Blue Bell ice cream and putting it back on the shelf turned the stomachs of the nation last week and inspired one Texas police department to take matters into their own hands. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Texas Police Officers Guard Blue Bell Ice Cream Following Nauseating Viral Licking Video," 8 July 2019 The big marches usually start after lunch on full stomachs. Christine Loh, Time, "Hong Kong Needs a Deep Dialogue of Reconciliation In Order to Move Forward," 5 July 2019 Cows and other ruminants such as goats and sheep have a special stomach called a rumen that houses millions of microbes. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Gut bacteria could be key to producing tastier cow’s milk," 3 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The 76ers, who gave up a lot to get him from the Clippers, probably can’t stomach seeing him leave for another team. Dan Woike,, "NBA free agency: A look at the top players and best fits for each," 29 June 2019 But this week, the multi-stomached, headgear-bearing mammals are finally getting their due. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "Wildebeest! Okapi! Giraffe! Ibex! Come Peruse Their Genomes," 20 June 2019 Feeling increasingly sick and unable to stomach anything but Red Bull, Javed bought the cheapest ticket available on a train bound for Istanbul, an eleven-hour overnight trip. Matthew Wolfe, Harper's magazine, "Without a Trace," 10 Feb. 2019 When La Croix is out of reach: True Lemon and True Lime Can't stomach plain water? Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "The Best On-the-Go Snacks to Get Before Holiday Travel Season," 6 Nov. 2018 Cholak continues to eat doughnuts every day, even though many people working at Mike's can no longer stomach them, including Mike himself. Elena Weissmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Meet Rachael Cholak, the girl with the doughnut tattoos," 25 June 2018 The complete inability to upgrade the device is hard to stomach in a notebook this expensive. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "The Ars Holiday Gift Guide 2018—good tech for the power user in your life," 4 Dec. 2018 It’s much harder to stomach the torrent of bad headlines: a radical restructuring, a management shakeup, a stock in such a tailspin that the overseers of the Dow Jones industrial average gave it the boot this week after more than a century. Shirley Leung,, "Boston’s bet on GE will still pay off," 27 June 2018 Moderate Republicans couldn't stomach dramatic Medicaid cuts, and conservatives refused to vote for a replacement bill that left too much of the Affordable Care Act intact. Washington Post, "The Health 202: Conservative activists aren't giving up their Obamacare repeal dream," 29 May 2018

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 1

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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Statistics for stomach

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for stomach

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

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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

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Comments on stomach

What made you want to look up stomach? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to complain fretfully

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