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 Wanogho defended the idea of stuffing your stomach on Thanksgiving. Giana Han, al, "Family, football and too much food for Derrick Brown on Thanksgiving," 28 Nov. 2019 Traveling on to our third and final stop, our own stomachs were rumbling and thoughts of cooking and drinking prosecco danced around my mind. NBC News, "A new tradition completely changed what Thanksgiving means to my family," 28 Nov. 2019 Then, there is the potato filling, which almost always leaves me with a bloated stomach. Quartz Staff, Quartz India, "Culinary confessions: At times “Indian food” can completely put off Indians themselves," 26 Nov. 2019 Fans noticed that the photos, which show off Katie's stomach and much of her chest, are unedited and show off some of the star's stretch marks. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Fans Praise Katie Holmes’ Unedited Stretch Marks After She Posts Blazer and Bra Photo," 26 Nov. 2019 Democratic leaders have shown no stomach for a significant slowdown, setting a breakneck pace that is exhausting Washington — cramming five blockbuster hearings with nine witnesses into a three-day period this week, for instance., "House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, delivered a searing condemnation of Trump’s behavior and Republican defenses of him.," 22 Nov. 2019 Norovirus is the leading cause of such stomach illnesses in the US. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Brutal stomach bug erupts in Colorado, closing down an entire school district," 22 Nov. 2019 Symptoms, which can take two to seven weeks after exposure to develop, include upset stomach, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, pain, fever, dark urine, and jaundice. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "Fresh Thyme blackberries potentially linked to 2 Indiana hepatitis A cases," 21 Nov. 2019 While six-month-old Psalm lied on his back and stared up at the camera, one-year-old Chicago gently laid her cheek on her baby brother's stomach. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Chicago and Psalm Look So Alike in Kim Kardashian West's Sweet Sibling Snap," 20 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But is there reality to this perception that liberals can’t stomach gluten, while conservatives can wolf it down without complaint? Trey Malone, The Conversation, "Gluten-sensitive liberals? Investigating the stereotype suggests food fads unite us all," 22 Nov. 2019 People can’t stomach the fact that Trump picked her. Jennifer C. Berkshire, The New Republic, "Could Betsy DeVos Cost Trump the Election?," 22 Oct. 2019 Of course, some are more comfortable stomaching that political risk. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Investors are dumping oil. So why would anyone buy Saudi Aramco?," 6 Nov. 2019 Some of the most important votes are those of Johnson’s own party — particularly those who can’t stomach the notion of a no-deal exit. Washington Post, "UK prime minister doesn’t want election amid Brexit crisis," 3 Sep. 2019 For some viewers, the documentary’s gruesomely detailed account of the crimes will prove too difficult to stomach. Isaac Feldberg,, "‘Manson: The Women’ takes viewers inside ‘family’," 9 Aug. 2019 Now, a playoff final defeat to rivals Aston Villa may be difficult to stomach, but a whole summer provides plenty of time for reflection, a positive outlook and a determination to put things right., "Championship: Five Promotion Hopefuls to Watch Out for in 2019/20," 9 July 2019 Playoff expansion is not automatic field dilution, at least not beyond anything NFL fans have stomached for decades. Globe Staff,, "With NFL playoff qualifiers, more would be better," 4 Sep. 2019 For those people who can’t stomach food right after a tough workout, refueling in liquid form with a glass of chocolate milk is a great choice, Harbstreet says. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Here's What a Healthy Snack Actually Looks Like," 26 Aug. 2019

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

2 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Stomach.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 12 December 2019.

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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

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


a period of high artistic development

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