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[ab-duh-muh n, ab-doh-] /ˈæb də mən, æbˈdoʊ-/
Anatomy, Zoology.
  1. the part of the body of a mammal between the thorax and the pelvis; belly.
  2. the cavity of this part of the body containing the stomach, intestines, etc.
  3. (in nonmammalian vertebrates) a region of the body corresponding to, but not coincident with, this part or cavity.
Entomology. the posterior section of the body of an arthropod, behind the thorax or the cephalothorax.
Origin of abdomen
1535-45; (< Middle French) < Latin abdōmen belly
Related forms
postabdomen, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for abdomen
  • Groin pain refers to discomfort in the area where the abdomen ends and the legs begin.
  • Sometimes the surgeon will place a tube from your stomach through the abdomen wall to keep your stomach in place.
  • It can also sometimes occur in patients who have cancer of the abdomen, lung or other body area.
  • Almost everyone experiences pain in the abdomen at one time or another.
  • As the mosquito feeds, our own body heat triggers the botfly eggs glued to her abdomen to hatch.
  • Abdominal exploration is surgery to examine the contents of the abdomen.
  • The alarm had been triggered by its electrical impulses, emanating from under the skin of her abdomen.
  • There are three main parts of a mantid's body: the head, the thorax, and the abdomen.
  • With a second forceps, he pinched the end of its abdomen.
  • They're thin enough to be inserted through tiny slits in the skin of the abdomen.
British Dictionary definitions for abdomen


/ˈæbdəmən; æbˈdəʊ-/
the region of the body of a vertebrate that contains the viscera other than the heart and lungs. In mammals it is separated from the thorax by the diaphragm
the front or surface of this region; belly related adjective coeliac
(in arthropods) the posterior part of the body behind the thorax, consisting of up to ten similar segments
Derived Forms
abdominal (æbˈdɒmɪnəl) adjective
abdominally, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin; origin obscure
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for abdomen

1540s, "belly fat," from Latin abdomen "belly," of unknown origin, perhaps from abdere "conceal," with a sense of "concealment of the viscera," or else "what is concealed" by proper dress. De Vaan, however, finds this derivation "unfounded." Purely anatomical sense is from 1610s. Zoological sense of "posterior division of the bodies of arthropods" first recorded 1788.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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abdomen in Medicine

abdomen ab·do·men (āb'də-mən, āb-dō'mən)
The part of the body that lies between the chest and the pelvis and encloses the stomach, intestines, liver, spleen, and pancreas. Also called belly, venter.

ab·dom'i·nal (āb-dŏm'ə-nəl) adj.
ab·dom'i·nal·ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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abdomen in Science
  1. In vertebrates, the portion of the body between the thorax and pelvis, containing the stomach, intestines, liver, and other organs. In mammals, the abdomen is separated from the thorax by the diaphragm.

  2. In arthropods, the last, most posterior segment of the body.

abdominal adjective (āb-dŏm'ə-nəl)
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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abdomen in Culture
abdomen [(ab-duh-muhn, ab-doh-muhn)]

The part of the body between the thorax (chest) and pelvis that encloses the organs of the abdominal cavity; the belly.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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