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 Try to breathe in and out slowly to a count of four; four in, four out, feeling your stomach rise and fall. John Hudson, Wired, "If You Are Going to Survive, You Must Prepare to Fail," 11 Jan. 2021 Pills and edibles, on the other hand, need to be carefully engineered so that they don’t get neutralized by stomach acid. Purbita Saha, Popular Science, "Can CBD help you chill? Here’s what we know so far.," 4 Jan. 2021 Photos obtained by the Daily Mail show Stone seemingly cradling her stomach. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Emma Stone Is Reportedly Pregnant With Her First Child," 4 Jan. 2021 While there is no upward limit set for fiber intake, too much can cause digestive issues like stomach discomfort, bloating, and gas, as SELF has previously reported, and especially when not consumed with enough water. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What Is the F-Factor Diet? Here’s What You Need to Know," 4 Jan. 2021 The gooey stuff is skin, the rubbery stuff is stomach, the fibery stuff is shoulder, the delicious stuff is all of it, with a squeeze of lime and a hit of electric green salsa. Mike Sutter,, "52 Weeks of Food Trucks: Carnitas Don Raúl on Broadway kicks off series with a Worth a Drive rating," 1 Jan. 2021 Police responded to a 911 call at 715 South Richards Street about 4:50 p.m. and found a male victim who suffered a stab wound to the stomach area. Mike Cason |, al, "16-year-old charged with assault after stabbing in Florence," 31 Dec. 2020 In addition to learning to breathe, talk and move again, Veloz also had to relearn to eat, as her stomach rejected food and liquids after being inactive for so long. Imelda García, Dallas News, "Grand Prairie woman recalls long COVID-19 hospitalization, a ‘miracle’ moment and road to recovery," 30 Dec. 2020 Police said officers found a bullet entry wound in the victim’s stomach with no exit wound. Brianna Kwasnik, Arkansas Online, "Victim of Little Rock shooting hit in stomach, police say," 29 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb French could not stomach Trump, and much of the Right came down on him — French, that is — like a ton of bricks. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "The Great American Divorce?," 21 Dec. 2020 But Boerboom couldn’t stomach the idea of wasting the animals. USA Today, "How the South and Southwest became the global epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic," 10 Dec. 2020 Others can’t stomach the man’s thick-textured, thickly harmonic, tradition-thick music. Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, "Please, can we all listen to some Brahms and learn to get along," 9 Dec. 2020 But with the Warriors poised to lose hundreds of millions of dollars because of fan-less games, Kerr knows the franchise can’t stomach another draft lottery season. Connor Letourneau,, "Kerr’s challenge: Keep things simple without sacrificing Warriors’ identity," 28 Dec. 2020 By comparison, local restaurants have had to stomach a rollercoaster of ever-changing rules. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Diary of a recovery: A City Heights neighborhood braces for a grim winter," 20 Dec. 2020 But even among Apple’s many fans, few will be able to stomach the company’s high price for shutting out the family noise. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "Apple Replays the Wrong Audio Track," 8 Dec. 2020 Despite Australia’s work in building a market in China, its customer base is unlikely to stomach a post-tariff price hike. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "Australia’s ‘approachable’ wine won over China’s middle class. Then came the tariffs," 7 Dec. 2020 How will passengers stomach accelerating to 25 times the speed of sound in a matter of minutes? Charlie Wood, Popular Science, "The military wants one-hour global delivery. SpaceX thinks it can pull it off.," 16 Oct. 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

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stomach.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on stomach

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