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From Middle English stomak, from Old French estomac, from Latin stomachus, from Ancient Greek στόμαχος (stomakhos), from στόμα (stoma, mouth). Displaced native Middle English mawe (stomach, maw) (from Old English maga), Middle English bouk, buc (belly, stomach) (from Old English buc (belly, stomach), see bucket).



stomach (plural stomachs)

  1. An organ in animals that stores food in the process of digestion.
  2. (informal) The belly.
  3. (obsolete) Pride, haughtiness.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, II.vii:
      Sterne was his looke, and full of stomacke vaine, / His portaunce terrible, and stature tall []
    • Shakespeare
      He was a man / Of an unbounded stomach.
    • John Locke
      This sort of crying proceeding from pride, obstinacy, and stomach, the will, where the fault lies, must be bent.
  4. (obsolete) Appetite.
    • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, II.ii.1.2:
      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.
    a good stomach for roast beef
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
  5. (figuratively) Desire, appetite (for something abstract).
    I have no stomach for a fight today.
    • Shakespeare
      He which hath no stomach to this fight, / Let him depart.


Derived terms[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.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Hooker to this entry?)
  3. (obsolete, transitive) To resent; to remember with anger; to dislike.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
    • L'Estrange
      The lion began to show his teeth, and to stomach the affront.
    • Milton
      The Parliament sit in that body [] to be his counsellors and dictators, though he stomach it.

Derived terms[edit]