- a visceral conviction
- a visceral novel
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Her visceral reaction was to curse at the other driver.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'visceral.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
The "viscera" are the internal organs of the body-especially those located in the large cavity of the trunk (e.g., the heart, liver, and intestines). The word viscera comes from Latin, in which it has essentially the same meaning. Something "visceral" has to do with the viscera. In a more figurative sense, something "visceral" is felt "deep down." Even in the early years of its use, "visceral" often referred to things emotional rather than physiological. For example, in 1640, an English bishop named Edward Reynolds wrote, "Love is of all other the inmost and most visceral affection." This figurative use is the most common use of "visceral," but the word continues to be used in medical contexts as well.
: coming from strong emotions and not from logic or reason
medical : of or relating to the viscera
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