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

a : spirit, valor
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

abdomen, belly, breadbasket [slang], gut, solar plexus, tummy

Synonyms: Verb

abide, absorb, accept, bear, bide [chiefly dialect], brook, countenance, endure, go, hack, handle, meet, pocket, stand, stick out, support, sustain, sweat out, take, tolerate, wear [British]

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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

Cejudo got out of the car and started toward the house to retrieve the child, which is when Cruz opened fire again, striking Cejudo in the stomach. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Grandfather charged with murder for after shooting man in southwest Houston," 3 Sep. 2019 An aide for President Jair Bolsonaro revealed that the far-right leader would undergo surgery to treat a hernia, his fourth operation since he was stabbed in the stomach during the presidential campaign in 2018. Fox News, "Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro to skip Amazon fires summit due to surgery," 3 Sep. 2019 Upon arrival, officers found the man as well as a woman who had been shot in the stomach. Tessa Duvall, The Courier-Journal, "2 people shot in Shawnee neighborhood, Louisville police say," 2 Sep. 2019 One study found that alkaline water with a pH of 8.8 deactivates pepsin, a digestive enzyme found in the stomach. Christy Brissette,, "There’s no solid evidence alkaline water is better for you," 29 Aug. 2019 The girl was struck once in the stomach, according to the affidavit., "Man who shot 16-year-old girl in Gresham parking lot after aiming at someone else gets 7.5 years," 26 Aug. 2019 Antacids, such as Nexium and Prilosec, work by decreasing acid production in the stomach. Jennifer Couzin-frankel, Science | AAAS, "Can antacids boost allergy risk?," 30 July 2019 Just a few episodes earlier, Lydia had tased June in the stomach while struggling to climb a flight of stairs—an act of sadistic retribution for Lydia’s physical frailty. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Cruelty of Aunt Lydia," 13 July 2019 Jones, 27, allegedly initiated a fight with a co-worker, who then shot her in the stomach. Essence, "Manslaughter Charge Dropped Against Alabama Woman Who Suffered Miscarriage After Being Shot In Stomach," 4 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 The success of British riders, with those six recent wins in Team Sky colors, has proved hard to stomach for many French sports fan and its media, hence the pressure on Bardet and Pinot to break that cycle this year. Paul Gittings, CNN, "An ill wind blows the battle for yellow at the Tour de France wide open," 5 July 2019 One thing that's not here, though, is any formal sweat- or water-resistance, which seems hard to stomach for small set of earphones that cost this much. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "Sony’s WF-1000XM3 bring noise cancellation to AirPods-style wireless earbuds," 5 July 2019 The 76ers, who gave up a lot to get him from the Clippers, probably can’t stomach seeing him leave for another team. Dan Woike,, "NBA free agency: A look at the top players and best fits for each," 29 June 2019 But this week, the multi-stomached, headgear-bearing mammals are finally getting their due. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "Wildebeest! Okapi! Giraffe! Ibex! Come Peruse Their Genomes," 20 June 2019 Feeling increasingly sick and unable to stomach anything but Red Bull, Javed bought the cheapest ticket available on a train bound for Istanbul, an eleven-hour overnight trip. Matthew Wolfe, Harper's magazine, "Without a Trace," 10 Feb. 2019 When La Croix is out of reach: True Lemon and True Lime Can't stomach plain water? Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "The Best On-the-Go Snacks to Get Before Holiday Travel Season," 6 Nov. 2018 Cholak continues to eat doughnuts every day, even though many people working at Mike's can no longer stomach them, including Mike himself. Elena Weissmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Meet Rachael Cholak, the girl with the doughnut tattoos," 25 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 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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Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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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 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).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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