AskDefine | Define visceral

Dictionary Definition

visceral adj
1 relating to or affecting the viscera; "visceral bleeding"; "a splanchnic nerve" [syn: splanchnic]
2 obtained through intuition rather than from reasoning or observation [syn: intuitive, nonrational]

User Contributed Dictionary



Historically having to do with the spleen, and related parts of the body (viscera) which at times were felt to be active in this sort of intuitive feeling.


  1. Having to do with the response of the body as opposed to the intellect, as in the distinction between thinking and feeling. Often described as intuition; cf. gut feeling, gut reaction.

Extensive Definition

In anatomy, a viscus () (plural: viscera /ˈvɪsərə/) is an internal organ of an animal (including humans), in particular an internal organ of the thorax or abdomen. The viscera, when removed from a butchered animal, are known collectively as offal. Internal organs are also known as "innards", or less formally, "guts" (which may also refer to the gastrointestinal tract).
The adjective visceral is used for anything pertaining to the internal organs. Historically, viscera of animals were examined by Roman pagan priests like the haruspices or the augurs in order to divine the future by their shape, dimensions or other factors.


The viscera are mainly innervated parasympathetically by the vagus nerve and sympathetically by the splanchnic nerves. The sensory part of the latter reaches the spinal column at certain spinal segments. Pain in any viscera is perceived as referred pain, more specifically pain from the dermatome (anatomy) corresponding to the spinal segment.
visceral in Arabic: حشا
visceral in German: Eingeweide
visceral in Spanish: Víscera
visceral in Esperanto: Viscero
visceral in French: Viscère
visceral in Hebrew: קרביים
visceral in Polish: Trzewia
visceral in Finnish: sisäelimet

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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