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[kol-ik] /ˈkɒl ɪk/ Pathology, Veterinary Pathology
paroxysmal pain in the abdomen or bowels.
pertaining to or affecting the colon or the bowels.
Origin of colic
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English colike (< Middle French colique) < Latin colica (passiō) (suffering) of the colon < Greek kolikós, equivalent to kól(on) colon2 + -ikos -ic
Related forms
colicky, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for colic
  • In many ways, colic is still as much of a mystery to medical science as it is to the parents who must endure it.
  • Star anise teas are also believed to treat colic in babies.
  • Soy-based formulas have not been proven to help with milk allergies or colic.
  • You're through the colic and the round-the-clock feedings and you even have something that resembles a schedule.
  • Whether it's true colic or mere displeasure is of little consequence.
  • They are also prone to a higher incidence of colic than larger breeds, possibly because of their shorter gut.
  • The stabling includes a solarium, paddocks where horses graze and spring water warmed to avoid colic and other problems.
  • Others go through contortions to exhibit intestinal colic.
  • The owner tried to get her up by whipping her on orders from a veterinarian, who suspected that she had colic.
  • The small intestine is a convoluted tube, extending from the pylorus to the colic valve, where it ends in the large intestine.
British Dictionary definitions for colic


a condition characterized by acute spasmodic abdominal pain, esp that caused by inflammation, distention, etc, of the gastrointestinal tract
Word Origin
C15: from Old French colique, from Late Latin cōlicus ill with colic, from Greek kōlon, variant of koloncolon²
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 colic

"disease characterized by severe abdominal pain," early 15c., from Late Latin colicus "pertaining to colic," from Greek kolikos, belonging to the kolon "lower intestine" (see colon (n.2)). The word was used in English late 14c. as an adjective, "affecting the colon." Related: Colicky (1742).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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colic in Medicine

colic col·ic (kŏl'ĭk)

  1. Spasmodic pains in the abdomen.

  2. Paroxysms of pain with crying and irritability in young infants, due to a variety of causes, such as swallowing air, emotional upset, or overfeeding.

adj. (kō'lĭk)
Relating to the colon.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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colic in Science
  1. Severe abdominal pain, often caused by spasm, obstruction, or distention of any of the hollow viscera, such as the intestines.

  2. A condition seen in infants less than three months old, marked by periods of inconsolable crying lasting for hours at a time for at least three weeks. The cause is unknown.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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