Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The serous membrane that lines the walls of the abdominal cavity and folds inward to enclose the viscera.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. In mammals, the serous membrane lining the cavity of the abdomen and that is folded over the viscera.
  • n. In animals, the membrane lining the coelom cavity.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The smooth serous membrane which lines the cavity of the abdomen, or the whole body cavity when there is no diaphragm, and, turning back, surrounds the viscera, forming a closed, or nearly closed, sac.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The membrane lining the abdominal cavity and investing its viscera.
  • n. In brachiopods, an investment of the alimentary canal, by which the latter is suspended in the perivisceral cavity as by a mesentery.
  • n. In entomology, the outer coat of the digestive tube of an insect.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a transparent membrane that lines the abdominal cavity in mammals and covers most of the viscera

Etymologies

Middle English, from Late Latin peritonaeum, from Greek peritonaion, from peritonaios, stretched across, from peritonos, stretched around : peri-, peri- + teinein, to stretch; see ten- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek περί- (peri, "around") + τόνος (tonos, "stretch") + -αιος (-aios, "suffix to form an adjective"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The peritoneum is the mesothelial tissue that covers most of the organs in the abdominal cavity.

    Balkinization

  • The under surface is covered by peritoneum, which is reflected on to it from the surface of the liver.

    XI. Splanchnology. 2i. The Liver

  • The spleen is almost entirely surrounded by peritoneum, which is firmly adherent to its capsule.

    XI. Splanchnology. 4g. The Spleen

  • The vesical or anterior surface (facies vesicalis) is flattened and covered by peritoneum, which is reflected on to the bladder to form the vesicouterine excavation.

    XI. Splanchnology. 3d. 3. The Uterus

  • Posteriorly, the supravaginal cervix is covered by peritoneum, which is prolonged below on to the posterior vaginal wall, when it is reflected on to the rectum, forming the rectouterine excavation.

    XI. Splanchnology. 3d. 3. The Uterus

  • The intestinal or posterior surface (facies intestinalis) is convex transversely and is covered by peritoneum, which is continued down on to the cervix and vagina.

    XI. Splanchnology. 3d. 3. The Uterus

  • The anterior ligament consists of the vesicouterine fold of peritoneum, which is reflected on to the bladder from the front of the uterus, at the junction of the cervix and body.

    XI. Splanchnology. 3d. 3. The Uterus

  • The posterior ligament consists of the rectovaginal fold of peritoneum, which is reflected from the back of the posterior fornix of the vagina on to the front of the rectum.

    XI. Splanchnology. 3d. 3. The Uterus

  • The peritoneum is the lining membrane of the peritoneal cavity.

    Appendicitis

  • At first through the skin and fascia only, this incision must be continued through the muscles of the abdominal wall, one by one, till the transversalis fascia is exposed, which must then be scraped through very cautiously, so as not to injure the peritoneum, which is to be detached from the fascia covering the psoas and iliacus muscles, and must be held inwards and out of the way by bent copper spatulæ.

    A Manual of the Operations of Surgery For the Use of Senior Students, House Surgeons, and Junior Practitioners

Comments

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  • "Here is Virgil ... who probably preferred a lad's peritonium."
    - Nabokov

    March 1, 2011