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secreting organ of the body, Old English lifer, from Proto-Germanic *librn (cf. Old Norse lifr, Old Frisian livere, Middle Dutch levere, Dutch lever, Old High German lebara, German Leber "liver"), perhaps from PIE *leip- "to stick adhere; fat." Formerly believed to be the body's blood-producing organ; in medieval times it rivaled the heart as the supposed seat of love and passion, hence lily-livered. Liver-spots, once thought to be caused by a dysfunction of the organ, is attested from 1730.
late 14c., agent noun from live (v.).
liver liv·er (lĭv'ər)
The largest gland of the body, lying beneath the diaphragm in the upper right portion of the abdominal cavity, which secretes bile and is active in the formation of certain blood proteins and in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
A large organ, located on the right side of the abdomen and protected by the lower rib cage, that produces bile and blood proteins, stores vitamins for later release into the bloodstream, removes toxins (including alcohol) from the blood, breaks down old red blood cells, and helps maintain levels of blood sugar in the body.
(Heb. kabhed, "heavy;" hence the liver, as being the heaviest of the viscera, Ex. 29:13, 22; Lev. 3:4, 1, 10, 15) was burnt upon the altar, and not used as sacrificial food. In Ezek. 21:21 there is allusion, in the statement that the king of Babylon "looked upon the liver," to one of the most ancient of all modes of divination. The first recorded instance of divination (q.v.) is that of the teraphim of Laban. By the teraphim the LXX. and Josephus understood "the liver of goats." By the "caul above the liver," in Lev. 4:9; 7:4, etc., some understand the great lobe of the liver itself.