large intestine

intestine (def. 3).
[1855-60]

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End section of the intestine.

It is about 5 ft (1.5 m) long, is wider than the small intestine, and has a smooth inner wall. In the first half, enzymes from the small intestine complete digestion, and bacteria produce many B vitamins and vitamin K. Over 24–30 hours, churning movements break down tough cellulose fibres and expose chyme to the colon's walls, which absorb water and electrolytes; absorption is its main function, along with storing fecal matter for expulsion. The more vigorous "mass movement" (gastrocolic reflex) occurs only two or three times a day to propel waste material toward the anal canal. Common afflictions include ulcerative colitis, diverticulosis (see diverticulum), polyps, and tumours.

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 posterior section of the intestine, consisting typically of four regions: the cecum, colon, rectum, and anus. The term colon is sometimes used to refer to the entire large intestine.

      The large intestine is wider and shorter than the small intestine (approximately 1.5 metres, or 5 feet, in length as compared with 6.7 to 7.6 metres, or 22 to 25 feet, in length for the small intestine) and has a smooth inner wall. In the proximal, or upper, half of the large intestine, enzymes from the small intestine complete the digestive process, and bacteria produce B vitamins (B12, thiamin, and riboflavin) as well as vitamin K. The primary function of the large intestine, however, is absorption of water and electrolytes from digestive residues (a process that usually takes 24 to 30 hours) and storage of fecal matter until it can be expelled. Churning movements of the large intestine gradually expose digestive residue to the absorbing walls. A progressive and more vigorous type of movement known as the gastrocolic reflex, which occurs only two or three times daily, propels the material toward the anus.

      Common afflictions of the large intestine include inflammation, such as colitis (ulcerative colitis); diverticulosis (diverticulum); and abnormal growths, such as benign or malignant tumours.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Large intestine — Intestine In*tes tine, n.; pl. {Intestines}. [L. intestinum: cf. F. intestin. See {Intestine}, a.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Anat.) That part of the alimentary canal between the stomach and the anus. See Illust. of Digestive apparatus. [1913 Webster] 2 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • large intestine — n. the relatively large section of the intestines of vertebrates, between the small intestine and the anus, including the cecum, colon, and rectum: see INTESTINE …   English World dictionary

  • large intestine — ► NOUN Anatomy ▪ the caecum, colon, and rectum collectively …   English terms dictionary

  • Large intestine — Infobox Anatomy Name = Large intestine Latin = intestinum crassum GraySubject = 249 GrayPage = 1177 Caption = Front of abdomen, showing the large intestine, with the stomach and small intestine in dashed outline. Caption2 = Front of abdomen,… …   Wikipedia

  • Large intestine — Comes after the small intestine. Large because it is wider than the small intestine. * * * large intestine n the more terminal division of the vertebrate intestine that is wider and shorter than the small intestine, typically divided into cecum,… …   Medical dictionary

  • large intestine — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms large intestine : singular large intestine plural large intestines medical the wider lower part of your intestine that changes food into solid waste …   English dictionary

  • large intestine — The long, tube like organ that is connected to the small intestine at one end and the anus at the other. The large intestine has four parts: cecum, colon, rectum, and anal canal. Partly digested food moves through the cecum into the colon, where… …   English dictionary of cancer terms

  • large intestine — large in testine n the lower part of your ↑bowels, where food is changed into solid waste matter →↑small intestine …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • large intestine — large in testine noun count the wider lower part of your INTESTINE that changes food into solid waste …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • large intestine — large′ intes′tine n. anat. intestine 3) • Etymology: 1855–60 …   From formal English to slang

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