AskDefine | Define stomach

Dictionary Definition



1 an enlarged and muscular saclike organ of the alimentary canal; the principal organ of digestion [syn: tummy, tum, breadbasket]
2 the region of the body of a vertebrate between the thorax and the pelvis [syn: abdomen, venter, belly]
3 an inclination or liking for things involving conflict or difficulty or unpleasantness; "he had no stomach for a fight"
4 an appetite for food; "exercise gave him a good stomach for dinner"


1 bear to eat; "He cannot stomach raw fish"
2 put up with something or somebody unpleasant; "I cannot bear his constant criticism"; "The new secretary had to endure a lot of unprofessional remarks"; "he learned to tolerate the heat"; "She stuck out two years in a miserable marriage" [syn: digest, endure, stick out, bear, stand, tolerate, support, brook, abide, suffer, put up]

User Contributed Dictionary



From στόμαχος (stómachos)


  • /ˈstʌmək/


  1. An organ in animals that stores food in the process of digestion.
  2. The belly.


Derived terms

Related terms


organ that stores food
  • Arabic: ,
  • Chinese: (fùbù)
  • Czech: břicho
  • Dutch: buik
  • Finnish: maha
  • French: bedon, ventre
  • German: Bauch
  • Hebrew: בטן
  • Hindi: पेट (pēṭa)
  • Hungarian: has
  • Italian: pancia
  • Japanese: (はら, hara)
  • Korean: (bae)
  • Kurdish:
    Sorani: زگ, ورگ
  • Maltese: żaqq
  • Portuguese: barriga
  • Russian: живот
  • Spanish: barriga, vientre
  • Swedish: buk, mage


  1. To be able to tolerate (something), emotionally, physically, or mentally; to be able 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.

Extensive Definition

In anatomy, the stomach is a bean-shaped hollow muscular organ of the gastrointestinal tract involved in the second phase of digestion, following mastication. The word stomach is derived from the Latin stomachus, which derives from the Greek word stomachos (). The words gastro- and gastric (meaning related to the stomach) are both derived from the Greek word gaster ().


The stomach is a highly acidic environment due to gastric acid production and secretion which produces a luminal pH range usually between 1 and 2 depending on the species, food intake, time of the day, drug use, and other factors. Combined with digestive enzymes, such an environment is able to break down large molecules (such as from food) to smaller ones so that they can eventually be absorbed from the small intestine. A zymogen called pepsinogen is secreted by chief cells and turns into pepsin under low pH conditions and is a necessity in protein digestion.
The human stomach can produce and secrete about 2.2 to 3 liters of gastric acid per day with basal secretion levels being typically highest in the evening. The stomach can expand to hold between 2-4 liters of food. It is a temporary food storage area, and in the process of digestion, the food goes into the stomach first.
Absorption of vitamin B12 from the small intestine is dependent on conjugation to a glycoprotein called intrinsic factor which is produced by parietal cells of the stomach.
Other functions include absorbing some ions, water, and some lipid soluble compounds such as alcohol, aspirin, and caffeine.

Anatomy of the human stomach

The stomach lies between the esophagus and the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). It is on the left side of the abdominal cavity. The top of the stomach lies against the diaphragm. Lying beneath the stomach is the pancreas, and the greater omentum which hangs from the greater curvature.
Two smooth muscle valves, or sphincters, keep the contents of the stomach contained. They are the esophageal sphincter (found in the cardiac region) dividing the tract above, and the Pyloric sphincter dividing the stomach from the small intestine.
The stomach is surrounded by parasympathetic (stimulant) and orthosympathetic (inhibitor) plexuses (anterior gastric, posterior, superior and inferior, celiac and myenteric), which regulate both the secretory activity and the motor activity of the muscles.
In humans, the stomach has a volume of about 50 mL when empty. After a meal, it generally expands to hold about 1 liter of food, but can hold as much as 4 liters. When drinking milk it can expand to just under 6 pints, or 3.4 liter.


The stomach is divided into four sections, each of which has different cells and functions. The sections are:

Blood supply

The lesser curvature of the stomach is supplied by the right gastric artery inferiorly, and the left gastric artery superiorly, which also supplies the cardiac region. The greater curvature is supplied by the right gastroepiploic artery inferiorly and the left gastroepiploic artery superiorly. The fundus of the stomach, and also the upper portion of the greater curvature, are supplied by the short gastric artery.

Histology of the human stomach


Like the other parts of the gastrointestinal tract, the stomach walls are made of the following layers, from outside to inside:


The epithelium of the stomach forms deep pits. The glands at these locations are named for the corresponding part of the stomach:

Control of secretion and motility

The movement and the flow of chemicals into the stomach are controlled by both the autonomic nervous system and by the various digestive system hormones:
Other than gastrin, these hormones all act to turn off the stomach action. This is in response to food products in the liver and gall bladder, which have not yet been absorbed. The stomach needs only to push food into the small intestine when the intestine is not busy. While the intestine is full and still digesting food, the stomach acts as storage for food.

Diseases of the stomach

Historically, it was widely believed that the highly acidic environment of the stomach would keep the stomach immune from infection. However, a large number of studies have indicated that most cases of stomach ulcers, gastritis, and stomach cancer are caused by Helicobacter pylori infection.
stomach in Arabic: معدة
stomach in Aymara: Puraka
stomach in Bosnian: Želudac
stomach in Bulgarian: Стомах
stomach in Catalan: Estómac
stomach in Czech: Žaludek
stomach in Danish: Mave
stomach in German: Magen
stomach in Dhivehi: މައިދާ
stomach in Estonian: Magu
stomach in Modern Greek (1453-): Στομάχι
stomach in Spanish: Estómago
stomach in Esperanto: Stomako
stomach in Basque: Urdail
stomach in Persian: معده
stomach in French: Estomac
stomach in Korean: 위 (기관)
stomach in Croatian: Želudac
stomach in Ido: Stomako
stomach in Igbo: Afọ
stomach in Indonesian: Lambung
stomach in Icelandic: Magi
stomach in Italian: Stomaco
stomach in Hebrew: קיבה
stomach in Javanese: Lambung
stomach in Kurdish: Mîde
stomach in Latin: Stomachus
stomach in Lithuanian: Skrandis
stomach in Lingala: Líkundú
stomach in Hungarian: Gyomor
stomach in Macedonian: Желудник
stomach in Marathi: जठर
stomach in Malay (macrolanguage): Perut
stomach in Dutch: Maag
stomach in Japanese: 胃
stomach in Norwegian: Magesekken
stomach in Pangasinan: Eges
stomach in Polish: Żołądek
stomach in Portuguese: Estômago
stomach in Quechua: Hiq'i
stomach in Russian: Желудок человека
stomach in Sicilian: Stòmmacu
stomach in Simple English: Stomach
stomach in Slovak: Žalúdok
stomach in Slovenian: Želodec
stomach in Sundanese: Burih
stomach in Finnish: Mahalaukku
stomach in Swedish: Magsäck
stomach in Tagalog: Sikmura
stomach in Telugu: జీర్ణకోశం
stomach in Thai: กระเพาะอาหาร
stomach in Vietnamese: Dạ dày
stomach in Turkish: Mide
stomach in Ukrainian: Шлунок
stomach in Võro: Mago
stomach in Yiddish: מאגען
stomach in Dimli: Pize
stomach in Chinese: 胃

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abatis, abdomen, abide, abomasum, accept, aftertaste, anus, appendix, appetite, bay window, bear, bear with, beard, beerbelly, belly, bitter, blind gut, blink at, bowels, brain, brains, breadbasket, brook, canine appetite, cecum, chitterlings, cockscomb, colon, condone, connive at, corporation, countenance, craving, craw, crop, desire, diaphragm, digest, disregard, down, drought, dryness, duodenum, eat, embonpoint, emptiness, empty stomach, endocardium, endure, entrails, first stomach, flavor, foregut, giblets, gizzard, go, gullet, gust, gut, guts, hankering, haslet, have, hear of, heart, hindgut, hollow hunger, honeycomb stomach, hunger, hungriness, ignore, inclination, indulge, innards, inner mechanism, insides, internals, intestine, inwards, jejunum, kidney, kidneys, kishkes, large intestine, liver, liver and lights, longing, lung, manyplies, marrow, maw, midgut, midriff, need, omasum, overlook, palate, paunch, perineum, pocket, pocket the affront, polydipsia, pot, potbelly, potgut, psalterium, pump, pusgut, put up with, pylorus, rectum, relish, rennet bag, reticulum, rumen, salt, sapidity, sapor, savor, savoriness, second stomach, smack, small intestine, sour, spare tire, spleen, stand, stand for, stick, suffer, swagbelly, swallow, swallow an insult, sweet, sweet tooth, sweetbread, take, tang, tapeworm, taste, third stomach, thirst, thirstiness, ticker, tolerance, tolerate, tongue, tooth, torment of Tantalus, tripe, tripes, tum-tum, tummy, turn aside provocation, underbelly, venter, ventripotence, vermiform appendix, viscera, vitals, wink at, works, yearning
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