AskDefine | Define abdomen

Dictionary Definition



1 the region of the body of a vertebrate between the thorax and the pelvis [syn: venter, stomach, belly]
2 the cavity containing the major viscera; in mammals it is separated from the thorax by the diaphragm [syn: abdominal cavity]

User Contributed Dictionary



Latin abdomen, of uncertain origin; compare French abdomen


  • (RP) /ˈæbdəmən/


  1. The belly, or that part of the body between the thorax and the pelvis.
  2. The cavity of the belly, which is lined by the peritoneum, and contains the stomach, bowels, and other viscera. In man, often restricted to the part between the diaphragm and the commencement of the pelvis, the remainder being called the pelvic cavity.
    He was all bent over complaining of pains in the abdomen.
  3. The posterior section of the body, behind the thorax, in insects, crustaceans, and other Arthropoda.



the posterior section of an arthopod's body




hr-noun m




  • /ab.dɔ.mɛn/


fr-noun m



  1. belly, abdomen
  2. In the context of "by extension of meaning|lang=la": gluttony


Extensive Definition

In vertebrates such as mammals the abdomen (belly) constitutes the part of the body between the thorax (chest) and pelvis. The region enclosed by the abdomen is termed the abdominal cavity. In arthropods it is the most distal section of the body which lies behind the thorax or cephalothorax.


In vertebrates the abdomen is a large cavity enclosed by the abdominal muscles ventraly and lateraly and by vertebral column dorsally. Lower ribs can also enclose ventral and lateral walls. Abdominal cavity is continuous with pelvic cavity. It is separated from thoracic cavity by diaphragm. Structures such as the aorta, inferior vena cava and esophagus pass through the diaphragm. Both abdominal cavity and pelvic cavity are lined by a serous membrane known as parietal peritoneum. This membrane is continuous with visceral peritoneum lining the organs. Abdomen in vertebrates contains a number of organs belonging for instance to digestive tract and urinary system.

Abdominal organs

Abdominal organs can be highly specialized in some animals. For example the stomach of ruminants (a suborder of mammals) is divided into four chambers - rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomasum.


The invertebrate abdomen is built up of a series of concave upper plates known as tergites and convex lower plates known as sternites, the whole being held together by a tough yet stretchable membrane.
The abdomen contains the insect's digestive tract and reproductive organs, it consists of eleven segments in most orders of insects though the eleventh segment is absent in the adult of most higher orders. The number of these segments does vary from species to species with the number of segments visible reduced to only seven in the common honeybee. In the Collembola (Springtails) the abdomen has only six segments.
The abdomen is sometimes highly modified. In ants, the first segment of the abdomen is fused to the thorax and called the propodeum. The second segment forms the narrow petiole. Some ants have an additional postpetiole segment, and the remaining segments form the bulbous gaster. The petiole and gaster (abdominal segments 2 and onward) are collectively called the metasoma.
Unlike other Arthropods, insects possess no legs on the abdomen in adult form, though the Protura do have rudimentary leg-like appendages on the first three abdominal segments, and Archaeognatha possess small, articulated "styli" which are sometimes considered to be rudimentary appendages. Many larval insects including the Lepidoptera and the Symphyta (Sawflies) have fleshy appendages called prolegs on their abdominal segments (as well as their more familiar thoracic legs), which allow them to grip onto the edges of plant leaves as they walk around.


abdomen in Arabic: بطن
abdomen in Asturian: Abdome
abdomen in Bulgarian: Корем
abdomen in Czech: Břicho
abdomen in Danish: Bughule
abdomen in German: Abdomen
abdomen in Spanish: Abdomen
abdomen in Esperanto: Ventro
abdomen in Basque: Abdomen
abdomen in French: Abdomen
abdomen in Galician: Abdome
abdomen in Ido: Abdomino
abdomen in Indonesian: Abdomen
abdomen in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Abdomine
abdomen in Icelandic: Afturbolur
abdomen in Italian: Addome
abdomen in Hebrew: בטן
abdomen in Lithuanian: Pilvelis
abdomen in Lingala: Libumu
abdomen in Macedonian: Стомачна празнина
abdomen in Dutch: Buik
abdomen in Dutch Low Saxon: Boek (lichem)
abdomen in Japanese: 腹
abdomen in Norwegian: Bakkropp
abdomen in Norwegian Nynorsk: Abdomen
abdomen in Polish: Odwłok
abdomen in Portuguese: Abdómen
abdomen in Quechua: Wiksa
abdomen in Russian: Брюшко
abdomen in Simple English: Abdomen
abdomen in Swedish: Buken
abdomen in Tagalog: Puson
abdomen in Turkish: Karın (anatomi)
abdomen in Ukrainian: Черевце
abdomen in Yiddish: בויך
abdomen in Chinese: 腹

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abomasum, anus, appendix, bay window, beerbelly, belly, blind gut, bowels, brain, breadbasket, cecum, colon, corporation, craw, crop, diaphragm, duodenum, embonpoint, endocardium, entrails, first stomach, foregut, giblets, gizzard, gullet, gut, guts, heart, hindgut, honeycomb stomach, innards, inner mechanism, insides, internals, intestine, inwards, jejunum, kidney, kishkes, large intestine, liver, liver and lights, lung, manyplies, maw, middle, midgut, midriff, midsection, omasum, paunch, perineum, pod, pot, potbelly, potgut, psalterium, pump, pusgut, pylorus, rectum, rennet bag, reticulum, rumen, second stomach, small intestine, spare tire, spleen, stomach, swagbelly, third stomach, ticker, tripes, tum-tum, tummy, underbelly, venter, ventripotence, vermiform appendix, viscera, vitals, works
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