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Borrowed from Latin ileus, from Ancient Greek εἰλεός (eileós, intestinal obstruction).


ileus (plural ileuses)

  1. (medicine, modern usage) Disruption of the normal propulsive ability of the gastrointestinal tract, due to failure of peristalsis.
  2. (medicine, broad definition, now rare) Disruption of the normal propulsive ability of the gastrointestinal tract from any cause.
    • 1796, Erasmus Darwin, Zoonomia, Volume II: Classes of Diseases, IV: Diseases of Association, Ordo III: Retrograde Associate Motions, Genus II: Catenated with sensitive motions,
      The perpetual vomiting in ileus is caused in like manner by the defective excitement of the sensorial power of association by the bowel, which is torpid during the intervals of pain; and the stomach sympathizes with it.
    • 1849, Hippocrates, Francis Adams (translator), Aphorisms,
      When ileus comes on in a case of strangury, they prove fatal in seven days, unless, fever supervening, there be a copious discharge of urine.
    • 1921, Western Osteopathic Association, et al., The Western osteopath, Volume 16, page 20,
      You must expect to lose from 40% to 60% of all acute post operative ileuses, and about 20% of your sub-acute cases.
    • 2002, Douglas H. Slatter, Textbook of Small Animal Surgery, Volume 1, page 420,
      Thus, ileus also has potential detrimental effects in sterile peritonitis by providing a source and mechanism for entry of bacteria into the peritoneal cavity.
      Other factors commonly encountered in animals with peritonitis may also predispose to adynamic ileus.

Derived terms[edit]


See also[edit]


  • Dorland's Pocket Medical Dictionary, 22nd edition, W. B. Saunders, 1977
  • “ileus” in The Concise Oxford Dictionary, seventh edition, Oxford University Press, 1982.
  • ileus at OneLook Dictionary Search




ileus m

  1. ileus

Further reading[edit]