English edit

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Stomach (with mucosal surface partly exposed)
explainer video about the human stomach

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Etymology edit

From Middle English stomak, from Old French estomac, from Latin stomachus, from Ancient Greek στόμαχος (stómakhos), from στόμα (stóma, mouth).

Largely displaced native Old English maga, whence Modern English maw.

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Noun edit

stomach (countable and uncountable, plural stomachs)

  1. An organ in animals that stores food in the process of digestion.
  2. (informal) The belly.
    Synonyms: belly, abdomen, tummy, (obsolete) bouk, gut, guts, (archaic) maw
    Why did you hit me in the stomach?
  3. (uncountable, obsolete) Pride, haughtiness.
  4. (obsolete) Appetite.
    a good stomach for roast beef
    • c. 1594 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Comedie of Errors”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene ii], line 50:
      You come not home because you have no stomach. / You have no stomach, having broke your fast.
    • c. 1590 (date written), G[eorge] P[eele], The Old Wiues Tale. [], London: [] Iohn Danter, for Raph Hancocke, and Iohn Hardie, [], published 1595, →OCLC, [lines 920-922]:
      HOST. How say you sir, doo you please to sit downe?
      EUMENIDES. Hostes I thanke you, I haue no great stomack.
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], chapter II, in The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, →OCLC, partition ii, section 1, member 2:
      If after seven hours' tarrying he shall have no stomach, let him defer his meal, or eat very little at his ordinary time of repast.
  5. (figuratively) Desire, appetite (for something abstract).
    I have no stomach for a fight today.
    • 1599, William Shakespeare, “The Life of Henry the Fift”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene iii], page 86, column 2:
      That he which hath no ſtomack to this fight, / Let him depart, his Paſport ſhall be made,
    • 2020 May 4, Lauren Morris, quoting Charlie Brooker, “Charlie Brooker gives Black Mirror season 6 update”, in Radio Times[1]:
      At the moment, I don’t know what stomach there would be for stories about societies falling apart, so I’m not working away on one of those.
  6. The part of a garment that covers a person's stomach.

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Verb edit

stomach (third-person singular simple present stomachs, present participle stomaching, simple past and past participle stomached)

  1. (transitive) To tolerate (something), emotionally, physically, or mentally; to stand or handle something.
    I really can’t stomach jobs involving that much paperwork, but some people seem to tolerate them.
    I can't stomach her cooking.
  2. (obsolete, intransitive) To be angry.
    • 1594–1597, Richard Hooker, edited by J[ohn] S[penser], Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie, [], London: [] Will[iam] Stansby [for Matthew Lownes], published 1611, →OCLC, (please specify the page):
      Let a man, though never so justly, oppose himself unto them that are disordered in their ways; and what one amongst them commonly doth not stomach at such contradiction, storm at reproof, and hate such as would reform them?
  3. (obsolete, transitive) To resent; to remember with anger; to dislike.
  4. (obsolete, transitive) To turn the stomach of; to sicken or repel.

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Middle English edit

Noun edit


  1. Alternative form of stomak