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The intestine, along with surrounding organs


Etymology 1[edit]

From Latin intestīnum, neuter of intestīnus (internal), as Etymology 2, below.


intestine (plural intestines)

  1. (anatomy, often pluralized) The alimentary canal of an animal through which food passes after having passed all stomachs.
  2. One of certain subdivisions of this part of the alimentary canal, such as the small or large intestine in human beings.
The terms below need to be checked and allocated to the definitions (senses) of the headword above. Each term should appear in the sense for which it is appropriate. For synonyms and antonyms you may use the templates {{syn|en|...}} or {{ant|en|...}}.
Derived terms[edit]
See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Latin intestīnus (internal), from intus (within).


intestine (not comparable)

  1. Domestic; taking place within a given country or region.
    • 1615, Ralph Hamor, A True Discourse of the Present State of Virginia, Richmond, published 1957, page 2:
      It being true that now after fiue yeeres intestine warre with the reuengefull implacable Indians, a firme peace (not againe easily to be broken) hath bin lately concluded [].
    • 1776, Edward Gibbon, chapter 1, in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, volumes (please specify |volume=I to VI), London: [] W[illiam] Strahan; and T[homas] Cadell, [], →OCLC:
      Yet the success of Trajan, however transient, was rapid and specious. The degenerate Parthians, broken by intestine discord, fled before his arms.
    • 1840 August, “Asia”, in The United Service Magazine, volume 33, number 141, page 537:
      The subdivisions of the tribe have elders over them, to whose authority they frequently pay much more deference than to that of their Chan: they are appointed by popular election, and where distinguished by birth or affluence are called beys, elders, tarchans, or batuers; but if their conduct be such as to displease their constituents, they are deposed, and their office transferred to some other party—the natural consequence of these changes is intestine confusion and anarchy, and open defiance of the authority of the Chan and his council.
    • 1849, Henry Box Brown, Narrative of H. B. Brown who escaped from slavery enclosed in a box, page 88:
      Now will any sensible person assert that five millions of Southerners, allowing all her white population to be in favor of Slavery, with an intestine foe, ready to spring upon her, as soon as the last chance of freedom presents itself, will be in danger of fighting twelve millions of free Northerners, who can call to their aid all these, and numerous other allies.
    • 1952, George Norman Clark, John Duncan Mackie, The Earlier Tudors, 1485-1558, page 10:
      In the speech attributed to him in More's History of King Richard the Third: Buckingham argues that war is never so mischievous as when it is intestine.
  2. (obsolete) Internal.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book VI”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, →OCLC:
      Hoping here to end / Intestine war in heaven, the arch foe subdued.
    • a. 1776, David Hume, Of the Origin of Government:
      a perpetual intestine struggle [] between authority and liberty
    • 2016, Benjamin Straumann, Crisis and Constitutionalism:
      If you wish this state to be immortal, if you wish your empire to be eternal, if you with your glory to continue everlasting, then it is our own passions, it is the turbulence and desire of revolution engendered among our own citizens, it is intestine evil, it is domestic plots that must be guarded against.
  3. (obsolete, rare) Depending upon the internal constitution of a body or entity; subjective.
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 41, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes [], book I, London: [] Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount [], →OCLC:
      When you have alleaged all the reasons you can, and beleeved all to disavow and reject her, she produceth, contrarie to your discourses, so intestine inclination, that you have small hold against her.
    • 1678, R[alph] Cudworth, The True Intellectual System of the Universe: The First Part; wherein All the Reason and Philosophy of Atheism is Confuted; and Its Impossibility Demonstrated, London: [] Richard Royston, [], →OCLC:
      Every thing labours under an intestine necessity.
    • 1869, Emanuel Swedenborg, The True Christian Religion, page 498:
      There dwells in the hearts of all who are deeply sunk in hypocrisy, an intestine hatred against all who are truly spiritual;
  4. (obsolete, rare) Shut up; enclosed.
    • 1782, William Cowper, “Heroism”, in Poems by William Cowper, of the Inner Temple, Esq.:
      No thunders shook with deep intestine sound The blooming groves that girdled her around.
    • 1785, William Cowper, The Task:
      Where now the vital energy that moved, While summer was, the pure and subtle lymph Through the imperceptible meandering veins Of leaf and flower? It sleeps; and the icy touch Of unprolific winter has impress'd A cold stagnation on the intestine tide.
    • 1988, Jackie DiSalvo, “Intestine Thorn: Samson's Struggle with the Woman Within”, in Julia M. Walker, editor, Milton and the Idea of Woman, page 211:
      (see title)
    • 2012, Rebecca Brackmann, The Elizabethan Invention of Anglo-Saxon England, page 212:
      Lambarde's metaphor seems to be slipping here, as he admits that the worst enemies are 'intestine', within the walls, so to speak, or even within the 'body' of the nation.
Derived terms[edit]



intestine f pl

  1. feminine plural of intestino




  1. vocative masculine singular of intestīnus