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From Middle English stomak, from Old French estomac, from Latin stomachus, from Ancient Greek στόμαχος (stómakhos), from στόμα (stóma, 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 […].
    • 1613, William Shakespeare, The Life of King Henry the Eighth, IV. ii. 34:
      He was a man / Of an unbounded stomach, ever ranking / Himself with princes;
    • John Locke
      This sort of crying proceeding from pride, obstinacy, and stomach, the will, where the fault lies, must be bent.
  4. (obsolete) Appetite.
    a good stomach for roast beef
  5. (figuratively) Desire, appetite (for something abstract).
    I have no stomach for a fight today.


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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.
    • 1607, William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra, III. iv. 12:
      O, my good lord, / Believe not all; or, if you must believe, / Stomach not all.
    • 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.

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