from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Any one of the interior organs of the body, contained in one of the four great cavities of the head, thorax, abdomen, and pelvis, as the brain, heart, lung, liver, stomach, intestine, kidney, bladder, womb, etc.; especially, an abdominal viscus, as the intestine: in ordinary language generally in the plural, meaning the bowels or entrails; the vitals.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Anat.) One of the organs, as the brain, heart, or stomach, in the great cavities of the body of an animal; -- especially used in the plural, and applied to the organs contained in the abdomen.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun anatomy One of the organs, as the brain, heart, or stomach, in the great cavities of the body of an animal; especially used in the plural, and applied to the organs contained in the abdomen.
  • noun Specifically, the intestines.

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

  • noun a main organ that is situated inside the body


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From New Latin, from Latin viscus ("any internal organ of the body"), perhaps akin to English viscid.


  • At other times he felt morally sure that she shared that derangement of the bivalvular organ technically defined as "a muscular viscus which is the primary instrument of the blood's motion," whose worst pains are said to be worth more than the greatest pleasures.

    Lippincott's Magazine, August, 1885

  • Feeling as though he has just awakened to the world, he finds himself floating in a viscus fluid with a cord attached to his stomach.


  • But you must not allow yourself to be deceived if such urine be passed while the bladder is diseased; for then it is a symptom of the state, not of the general system, but of a particular viscus.

    The Book Of Prognostics

  • He would make this appalling viscus beat and throb before the shrinking journalists — no uncle with a big watch and a little ever baby ever harped upon it so relentlessly; whatever evasion they attempted he set aside.

    The War in the Air

  • For the heart is not precisely alike in all animals that have one; nor, in fact, is any viscus whatsoever.

    On the Parts of Animals

  • While the bladder is fully expanded, 4, there occurs an interval between the margin of the symphysis pubis and the point of reflexion of the peritonaeum, from the recti muscles, to the summit of the viscus.

    Surgical Anatomy

  • A third smaller instrument, f f, is seen to pass out of the urethra anterior to the prostate, and after transfixing the right vesicula seminalis external to the neck of the bladder, enters this viscus at a point behind the prostate.

    Surgical Anatomy

  • It bears a very slimy white berry, of which birdlime may be made, whence its Latin name of _viscus_, It is one of those plants which do not grow in the ground by a root of their own, but fix themselves upon other plants; whence they have been humorously styled parasitical, as being hangers-on or dependants.

    Types of Children's Literature

  • For, it is not the quantity of the _viscus_ alone that settles this scientific question; but the weight of the brains in direct proportion to that of the person's body.

    By Water to the Columbian Exposition

  • If it be the external or oblique variety, the viscus is to be pushed upwards, outwards, and backwards; if it be the internal or direct variety, it is to be reduced by pressure, made upwards and backwards.

    Surgical Anatomy


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  • Not content with this mass of amusement, you continue your beneficence to that unfortunate viscus, the stomach, under the name of dessert, till it almost faints under the obligation.

    —Robert Bage, 1796, Hermsprong

    In theory I knew that 'viscus' was the singular of 'viscera', but I doubt I've ever seen it in use till now.

    March 21, 2009