stom·ach | \ ˈstə-mək , -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 hke, 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

c : spleen, resentment


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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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

Further investigations revealed that his stomach’s contents were very well preserved. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Before He Died, Ötzi the Iceman Ate a Greasy, Fatty Meal," 13 July 2018 Fat residues, which DNA indicates came from red deer and ibex, made up about 50% of the total undigested food in his stomach, the team writes today in Current Biology. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "The ‘Iceman’s’ last meal was a high-fat feast," 12 July 2018 An examination of the wolf's corpse by a Berlin wildlife research institute found that the young female had been fatally shot in the chest and then had a rope tied around her stomach and lashed to a concrete weight. Deutsche Welle, USA TODAY, "Wolf fatally shot, tied to weight and dumped in lake," 12 July 2018 Butterflies swirled inside his stomach as tipoff approached Friday afternoon. Josh Robbins,, "Mo Bamba shows flashes of potential in Magic debut," 7 July 2018 Honestly, after two hours in a 100-miler, everything in my stomach is totally gone anyway. Carly Graf, Outside Online, "What Karl Meltzer Eats Before an Ultra," 5 July 2018 There is one record of a great white shark caught in the central Bering Sea, in 1979, according to Alaska Sea Grant, and it was found to have chunks of Steller sea lion in its stomach. Annie Zak, Anchorage Daily News, "Research: Sharks might be eating more northern seals and sea lions in Alaska waters," 4 July 2018 Bland foods, such as toast and crackers, may boost your blood sugar and settle your stomach. Sarah Brookbank,, "Fourth of July: Hangover cures for your patriotic beverage binge," 4 July 2018 Flip over onto your stomach and, elbows pointing out, place one hand on top of the other, and lower your head, placing your forehead on top of the back of your hands. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "A Quick Equipment-Free Butt Workout From Celebrity Trainer Erin Oprea," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Unfortunately, her prodigious effort has resulted in little more than a repugnant showcase for her acting talents that few viewers will be able to stomach for the duration of its running time. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Eat Me': Film Review," 5 July 2018 Others can't stomach war movies, can't be around crowds or fireworks. Maxine Bernstein,, "Thurston 20 years later: Survivors call it 'our shooting,' now one among so many," 20 May 2018 Clearly someone, somewhere decided that $5 was a hike that people could stomach. Jennifer Van Grove,, "Price hikes for cord-cutters. What gives?," 7 July 2018 This is a lesson that June can’t stomach Eden’s fate cannot befall her daughter., "The Handmaid's Tale Recap Season 2, Episode 13: The Martha Express," 11 July 2018 That’s been hard to stomach for a guy who didn’t have three multiple earned-run outings all last season and had only three the entire season before. Peter Schmuck,, "Schmuck: Amid Machado trade speculation, other Orioles are waiting and wondering, too," 10 July 2018 Even though Ziggler and Rollins’ match ended in a disqualification, which is usually tough to stomach after a match that clocked in at over 27 minutes, the work between the two men was on another level. Justin Barrasso,, "The Week in Wrestling: Who Is The Best World Champion Right Now?," 27 June 2018 Let's see if Mason's Angela Perkins can stomach the challenge. Rasputin Todd,, "Who was voted off 'Survivor' this week? (April 18) Did Mason's Angela Perkins advance?," 18 Apr. 2018 Against Vegas, this involved stomaching a fluky Game 1 loss in which Ovechkin had an assist but only managed two shots on goal. Alex Prewitt,, "The Great Wait Is Finally Over: After 13 Seasons, Alex Ovechkin Is a Stanley Cup Champion," 11 June 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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Last Updated

9 Sep 2018

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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 \

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 \

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).


a magnificent or impressive array

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