From Middle French boel, from Latin botellus, diminutive of botulus (sausage).



bowel (plural bowels)

  1. (chiefly medicine) A part or division of the intestines, usually the large intestine.
  2. (in the plural) The entrails or intestines; the internal organs of the stomach.
    • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Acts I:
      And when he was hanged, brast asondre in the myddes, and all his bowels gusshed out.
  3. (in the plural) The (deep) interior of something.
    The treasures were stored in the bowels of the ship.
    • Shakespeare
      His soldiers [] cried out amain, / And rushed into the bowels of the battle.
  4. (in the plural, archaic) The seat of pity or the gentler emotions; pity or mercy.
    • Shakespeare
      Thou thing of no bowels.
    • Fuller
      Bloody Bonner, that corpulent tyrant, full (as one said) of guts, and empty of bowels.
  5. (obsolete, in the plural) offspring
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)

Derived termsEdit



bowel (third-person singular simple present bowels, present participle bowelling, simple past and past participle bowelled)

  1. (now rare) To disembowel.
    • 1624, John Smith, Generall Historie, in Kupperman 1988, page 149:
      Their bodies are first bowelled, then dried upon hurdles till they be very dry [...].

See alsoEdit


Last modified on 7 April 2014, at 04:00