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 Ranitidine is sold over the counter as a heartburn medicine, but is also used as a prescription to treat stomach ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Erika Edwards, NBC News, "Low levels of contaminant found in popular heartburn pills," 13 Sep. 2019 Ranitidine is an over-the-counter and prescription histamine-2 blocker, which decreases the amount of acid that the stomach creates. Jacqueline Howard And Jamie Gumbrecht, CNN, "FDA finds low levels of cancer-linked impurity in common heartburn drugs," 13 Sep. 2019 Prescription versions of the drug are sold to treat and prevent stomach and intestine ulcers and treat acid reflux disease. Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY, "FDA finds small amounts of probable carcinogen in Zantac and other heartburn drugs," 13 Sep. 2019 Capital and labor were dependent upon each other, but there would continue to be strikes so long as laborers have stomachs and capitalists hold the key. Merrie Monteagudo, San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: Labor Day became a national holiday in 1894," 2 Sep. 2019 Cows, for instance, which can build their bulky bodies on a diet of only grass and leaves, have four-part stomachs and a thriving collection of gut microbes that help them break down plant cells. Eva Frederick, Science | AAAS, "The world’s first animal was probably a carnivore," 30 Aug. 2019 About an hour later, a 22-year-old woman was shot in the stomach and a 43-year-old man was shot in the left leg in a double shooting in the 4700 block of Alhambra Ave. in Richnor Springs, police said. Colin Campbell,, "20-year-old killed, 3 others injured in Baltimore shootings, police say," 28 Aug. 2019 Cover your stomach and chest with hard objects to shield your vital organs. Abby Vesoulis / Lynchburg, Time, "‘I Wish We Could Stop Teaching This.’ What It’s Like to Attend an Active-Shooter Training After the El Paso and Dayton Attacks," 19 Aug. 2019 The victim had non-life-threatening puncture wounds to his stomach and chest. Jake Richardson, The Mercury News, "Campbell crime report for the week of Aug. 23," 15 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Barnes said the two sides need to compromise in a way that both sides can stomach. Talia Richman,, "Mediation fails once again in case seeking to force Maryland to better fund and strengthen HBCU programs," 31 July 2019 The slowdown in investment will be easier to stomach for places that have spent money well. The Economist, "Once again, China’s richest region is pulling ahead of the others," 8 June 2019 For those who cannot stomach milky drinks, stick with something between 98.6 and 115 degrees, with no caffeine. Heidi Mitchell, WSJ, "How Much Do Hot Drinks Help on a Cold Day?," 5 Dec. 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 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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Statistics for stomach

Last Updated

4 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for stomach

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

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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).


to spread as a report or rumor

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