American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A chronic disorder characterized by motor abnormalities of the small and large intestines, causing variable symptoms including cramping, abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea. Also called irritable colon, spastic colon.
- n. pathology A functional disorder causing the nerves and muscles of the large intestine to be oversensitive, leading to symptoms such as cramp, bloating, flatulence, diarrhoea and constipation.
- n. recurrent abdominal pain and diarrhea (often alternating with periods of constipation); often associated with emotional stress
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