9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[vis-er-uh l] /ˈvɪs ər əl/
of or relating to the viscera.
affecting the viscera.
of the nature of or resembling viscera.
characterized by or proceeding from instinct rather than intellect:
a visceral reaction.
characterized by or dealing with coarse or base emotions; earthy; crude:
a visceral literary style.
Origin of visceral
1565-75; < Medieval Latin viscerālis, equivalent to viscer- (see viscera) + -ālis -al1
Related forms
viscerally, adverb
nonvisceral, adjective
unvisceral, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for viscerally
  • For all his worries about overregulation, he's not viscerally opposed to all forms of government.
  • Some of the lit professors used to actually give him a two foot berth on the campus paths, they disagreed with him so viscerally.
  • Occupiers all viscerally sense the problem: extreme economic inequality.
  • Even if they understand it intellectually, they don't feel it viscerally.
  • He reacts almost viscerally to the charge that empire itself is a historical problem.
  • But it doesn't come close to capturing the reverberating thunder that can make arena rock so viscerally exciting.
  • Tableaux shift from the calmly composed to the viscerally reactive.
  • There are people clearly viscerally opposed to the concept of secrecy.
  • The goal is to respond somewhat viscerally to the poem's essence, rather than to its meaning.
  • Many people are viscerally opposed to that conclusion, for a variety of reasons.
British Dictionary definitions for viscerally


of, relating to, or affecting the viscera
characterized by intuition or instinct rather than intellect
Derived Forms
viscerally, adverb
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 viscerally



1570s, "affecting inward feelings," from Middle French viscéral, from Medieval Latin visceralis "internal," from Latin viscera, plural of viscus "internal organ," of unknown origin. The bowels were regarded as the seat of emotion. The figurative sense vanished after 1640 and the literal sense is first recorded in 1794. The figurative sense was revived 1940s in arts criticism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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viscerally in Medicine

visceral vis·cer·al (vĭs'ər-əl)
Relating to, situated in, or affecting the viscera.

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