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[kid-nee] /ˈkɪd ni/
noun, plural kidneys.
Anatomy. either of a pair of bean-shaped organs in the back part of the abdominal cavity that form and excrete urine, regulate fluid and electrolyte balance, and act as endocrine glands.
Zoology. a corresponding organ in other vertebrate animals or an organ of like function in invertebrates.
the meat of an animal's kidney used as food.
constitution or temperament:
He was a quiet child, of a different kidney from his boisterous brothers.
kind, sort, or class:
He is only at ease with men of his own kidney.
1275-1325; Middle English kidenei, kidenere (singular), kideneres, kideneren (plural); origin uncertain; perhaps a compound based either on nere (singular), neres (plural) kidney (Old English *nēore; compare Old High German nioro, Old Norse nȳra); or ei (singular), eiren (plural) egg1, Old English ǣg (singular), ǣgru (plural) (by association with the organ's shape); for the first element compare dial. kid pod (akin to cod2)
Related forms
kidneylike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for kidney
  • Due to a birth defect, my left kidney was enlarged and obstructed in two places.
  • The doctor mistakenly diagnosed a kidney stone, and gave him an antibiotic and painkillers.
  • Keep an eye on urination, since the problem has been with kidney failure.
  • The right kidney is usually slightly lower than the left, probably on account of the vicinity of the liver.
  • The kidney is supplied with a coarse subserous plexus and a deeper plexus of finer capillaries in the capsule.
  • The anterior surface, kidney-shaped and much larger than the posterior, articulates with the first metatarsal bone.
  • After one is diagnosed with endometrial cancer, other lab tests may be done to look at blood counts and liver and kidney function.
  • It offers significant advantages in the treatment of liver and kidney cancers.
  • Tom is a retiree in his seventies with a successful kidney transplant.
  • The fatality was due to the failure of another organ that can be readily affected by toxicants, the, kidney.
British Dictionary definitions for kidney


either of two bean-shaped organs at the back of the abdominal cavity in man, one on each side of the spinal column. They maintain water and electrolyte balance and filter waste products from the blood, which are excreted as urine related adjectives nephritic renal
the corresponding organ in other animals
the kidneys of certain animals used as food
class, type, or disposition (esp in the phrases of the same or a different kidney)
Derived Forms
kidneylike, adjective
Word Origin
C14: of uncertain origin
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 kidney

early 14c., of unknown origin, originally kidenere, perhaps a compound of Old English cwið "womb" (see bowel) + ey "egg" (see egg (n.)) in reference to the shape of the organ. Figurative sense of "temperament" is from 1550s. Kidney bean is from 1540s, so called for its shape.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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kidney in Medicine

kidney kid·ney (kĭd'nē)
n. pl. kid·neys
Either of a pair of organs in the dorsal region of the vertebrate abdominal cavity, functioning to maintain proper water and electrolyte balance, regulate acid-base concentration, and filter the blood of metabolic wastes, which are then excreted as urine.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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kidney in Science

Either of a pair of organs that are located in the rear of the abdominal cavity in vertebrates. The kidneys regulate fluid balance in the body and filter out wastes from the blood in the form of urine. The functional unit of the kidney is the nephron. Wastes filtered from the blood by the nephrons drain into the ureters, muscular tubes that connect each kidney to the bladder. See also nephron.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for kidney


Related Terms

gripe one's ass

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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