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[dis-em-bou-uh l] /ˌdɪs ɛmˈbaʊ əl/
verb (used with object), disemboweled, disemboweling or (especially British) disembowelled, disembowelling.
to remove the bowels or entrails from; eviscerate.
to cut or slash open the abdomen of, as by bayoneting, so as to expose or remove the viscera.
Origin of disembowel
1595-1605; dis-1 + embowel
Related forms
disembowelment, noun
Can be confused
disembodied, disemboweled, dismembered. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for disembowel
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • With the low, sweeping antlers, and the rush of hoofs that could disembowel at a single blow, it is a desperate test of nerve.

    The Heart of Unaga Ridgwell Cullum
  • You know it isn't easy to procure children whom one may disembowel with impunity.

    L-bas J. K. Huysmans
  • disembowel the sky with gigantic triangles of stone—you cannot thereby lengthen your corpse an inch.

  • He urged the crowd to disembowel all the inhabitants of London.

    The Tables Turned William Morris
  • He even goes so far—one day when his supply of children is exhausted—as to disembowel a pregnant woman and sport with the fœtus.

    L-bas J. K. Huysmans
  • After he was hanged they cut down this true martyr, and stripping him, slashed him open in order to disembowel him.

    Haunted London Walter Thornbury
  • According to Petherick, they do not disdain dead animals, whose carcasses they disembowel with their powerful hooked beak.

  • Its claws looked sufficiently formidable to disembowel a man—as, indeed, they were, if the man came near enough.

    The Pathless Trail Arthur O. (Arthur Olney) Friel
  • For this crime I disembowel myself, and I beg you who are present to do me the honor of witnessing the act.'

British Dictionary definitions for disembowel


verb -els, -elling, -elled (US) -els, -eling, -eled
(transitive) to remove the entrails of
Derived Forms
disembowelment, noun
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 disembowel

c.1600, from dis- + embowel. Earlier form was disbowel (mid-15c.); embowel, with the same meaning, is attested from 1520s. Related: Disemboweled; disembowelment.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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