Borrowed from Middle French bouel, from Old French boïel, from Latin botellus, diminutive of botulus (sausage). Doublet of boyau.


  • enPR: bou'əl, boul, IPA(key): /ˈbaʊ.əl/, /baʊl/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aʊəl, -aʊl


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.
  3. (in the plural, figuratively) The (deep) interior of something.
    The treasures were stored in the bowels of the ship.
  4. (in the plural, archaic) The seat of pity or the gentler emotions; pity or mercy.
  5. (obsolete, in the plural) offspring

Derived termsEdit



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

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

See alsoEdit