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 My desk was pinned against my stomach and a girl’s head was on my left shoulder. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "The True Story of the Aberfan Disaster," 15 Nov. 2019 The man got out of his car and Perkins shot him twice, once in the stomach and once in the leg, police reports say. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, "Armed carjacker shot man in downtown Cleveland, police say," 12 Nov. 2019 Also at Illinois Masonic were a 27-year-old man stabbed in the stomach and a 29-year-old man also with a stab wound, both in critical condition, police said. Alice Yin,, "4 stabbed, one fatally, in Portage Park after argument over damaged car, police say," 11 Nov. 2019 Demi Moore, a guest on Wednesday's program, joined James Corden at the table with stomach-churning treats as a consequence for not answering prying questions. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, "Awkward! James Corden confesses to Demi Moore he lied about reading her bombshell memoir," 24 Oct. 2019 Drivers uninterested in stomach-churning track expeditions will be glad to know that Polestar’s first fully electric car is a useful, family-friendly sedan. Wired, "Polestar's First EV Is a Track-Happy Challenge to Tesla's Model 3," 22 Oct. 2019 The yellowish organism at the Paris Zoological Park has no mouth, no stomach and no eyes, but can somehow detect and digest food, according to Reuters. Fox News, "Mysterious ‘blob’ organism with no brain but 720 sexes unveiled at Paris zoo," 18 Oct. 2019 Others strapped in for a stomach-churning free fall on the Rip Cord carnival ride as still more people tried their luck in vain on the midway games below. Evan Sernoffsky,, "‘Perfect day’ at Solano Stroll, the East Bay’s largest street festival," 8 Sep. 2019 The stomach-churning volatility continued throughout the week, sometimes in response to trade pronouncements or tweets from President Trump. Robert Weisman,, "As baby boomers watch stocks swing wildly, their future seems less secure," 3 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 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

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

18 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Stomach.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 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

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