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From Middle English wombe, wambe, from Old English womb, wamb ‎(belly, stomach; bowels; heart; womb; hollow), from Proto-Germanic *wambō ‎(belly, stomach, abdomen), from Proto-Indo-European *wamp- ‎(membrane (of bowels), intestines, womb). Cognate with Scots wam, wame ‎(womb), Dutch wam ‎(dewlap of beef; belly of a fish), German Wamme, Wampe ‎(paunch, belly), Danish vom ‎(belly, paunch, rumen), Swedish våmb ‎(belly, stomach, rumen), Norwegian vomb ‎(belly), Icelandic vömb ‎(belly, abdomen, stomach), Old Welsh gumbelauc ‎(womb), Breton gwamm ‎(woman, wife), Sanskrit वपा ‎(vapā́, the skin or membrane lining the intestines or parts of the viscera, the caul or omentum).



womb ‎(plural wombs)

  1. (anatomy) In female mammals, the organ in which the young are conceived and grow until birth; the uterus. [from 8thc.]
  2. (obsolete) The abdomen or stomach. [8th-17thc.]
  3. (obsolete) The stomach of a person or creature. [8th-18thc.]
    • 1395, John Wycliffe, Bible, Jonah II:
      And þe Lord made redi a gret fish þat he shulde swolewe Ionas; and Ionas was in wombe of þe fish þre daȝes and þre niȝtis.
  4. (figuratively) A place where something is made or formed. [from 15thc.]
    • Dryden
      The womb of earth the genial seed receives.
    • 1826, Mary Shelley, The Last Man, part 2, chapter 7
      The shadows of the future hours rose dark and menacing from the womb of time [...]
  5. Any cavity containing and enveloping anything.
    • Robert Browning
      The centre spike of gold / Which burns deep in the bluebell's womb.


  • (organ in mammals): uterus, matrix (poetic or literary), belly (poetic or literary)



womb ‎(third-person singular simple present wombs, present participle wombing, simple past and past participle wombed)

  1. (obsolete) To enclose in a womb, or as if in a womb; to breed or hold in secret.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)