Anatomy, Zoology.
a saclike enlargement of the alimentary canal, as in humans and certain animals, forming an organ for storing, diluting, and digesting food.
such an organ or an analogous portion of the alimentary canal when divided into two or more sections or parts.
any one of these sections.
Zoology. any analogous digestive cavity or tract in invertebrates.
the part of the body containing the stomach; belly or abdomen.
appetite for food.
desire, inclination, or liking: I have no stomach for this trip.
spirit; courage.
pride; haughtiness.
resentment; anger.
verb (used with object)
to endure or tolerate (someone or something): I can't stomach your constant nagging.
Obsolete. to be offended at or resent.

1300–50; Middle English stomak < Latin stomachus gullet, stomach < Greek stómachos orig., opening; akin to stoma

7. bear, stand, abide, countenance. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
stomach (ˈstʌmək)
1.  (in vertebrates) the enlarged muscular saclike part of the alimentary canal in which food is stored until it has been partially digested and rendered into chymeRelated: gastric
2.  the corresponding digestive organ in invertebrates
3.  the abdominal region
4.  desire, appetite, or inclination: I have no stomach for arguments
5.  an archaic word for temper
6.  an obsolete word for pride
7.  to tolerate; bear: I can't stomach his bragging
8.  to eat or digest: he cannot stomach oysters
Related: gastric
[C14: from Old French stomaque, from Latin stomachus (believed to be the seat of the emotions), from Greek stomakhos, from stoma mouth]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, "internal pouch into which food is digested," from O.Fr. estomac, from L. stomachus "stomach, throat," also "pride, inclination, indignation" (which were thought to have their origin in that organ), from Gk. stomachos "throat, gullet, esophagus," lit. "mouth, opening," from stoma "mouth" (see
stoma). Applied to the openings of various internal organs, especially the stomach, then to the stomach itself. Some 16c. anatomists tried to correct the sense back to "esophagus" and introduce ventricle for what we call the stomach. Meaning "belly, midriff, part of the body that contains the stomach" is from c.1375. Figurative senses in L. extended into M.E. (cf. "relish, inclination, desire," 1513). The verb meaning "to tolerate, put up with" is from 1577; earlier sense was opposite: "to be offended at, resent" (1523), from L. stomachari "to be resentful."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

stomach stom·ach (stŭm'ək)
The enlarged saclike portion of the digestive tract between the esophagus and small intestine, lying just beneath the diaphragm.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
stomach   (stŭm'ək)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A saclike muscular organ in vertebrate animals that stores and breaks down ingested food. Food enters the stomach from the esophagus and passes to the small intestine through the pylorus. Glands in the stomach secrete hydrochloric acid and the digestive enzyme pepsin.

  2. A similar digestive structure of many invertebrates.

  3. Any of the four compartments into which the stomach of a ruminant is divided (the rumen, reticulum, omasum, or abomasum).

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

stomach definition

An organ in the digestive system, on the left side of the body behind the lower rib cage, that receives chewed food from the esophagus. Tiny glands in the stomach's lining secrete gastric juice, which contains acids, mucus, and enzymes. This fluid, along with the muscular churning actions of the stomach, helps transform food into a thick, semifluid mass that can be passed into the small intestine for digestion.

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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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see butterflies in one's stomach; can't stand (stomach) the sight of; eyes are bigger than one's stomach; no stomach for; sick to one's stomach; turn one's stomach.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
It is a complex organ system that first carries food from the mouth down the
  esophagus to the stomach.
And it does so without making you want to run out of the theater clutching your
Our vet gave us a pill gun to get it right into the stomach region and not the
It's not surprising that each letter has affected me enough to cause stomach
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