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noun, plural hernias, herniae [hur-nee-ee] /ˈhɜr niˌi/ (Show IPA). Pathology.

the protrusion of an organ or tissue through an opening in its surrounding walls, especially in the abdominal region.

Origin of hernia

1350-1400; Middle English haruspex

Related forms

hernial, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hernia

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • You'll get a hernia of your exhaust pipe if you stay so tense.

    Arm of the Law Harry Harrison

  • hernia was Chauliac's specialty, and in it his surgical judgment is admirable.

    Old-Time Makers of Medicine James J. Walsh

  • Chauliac discussed operations for hernia very conservatively.

    Old-Time Makers of Medicine James J. Walsh

  • In respect to the introsusception and hernia, see Ileus, Class I. 3.

  • hernia—Rupture which permits a part of the bowels to protrude.

    Searchlights on Health: Light on Dark Corners B.G. Jefferis

  • Then wait till you see him cut for calculus, or perform for hernia.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 55, No. 343, May 1844 Various

  • It was only from a farmer that he understood Lacoste to have a hernia, and Lacoste himself did not admit it.

    She Stands Accused Victor MacClure

  • I was cured of hernia of 25 years' standing by the above-named truss.

    Health, Happiness, and Longevity Louis Philippe McCarty

  • Emetics should be avoided in plethoric habits, in hernia, pregnancy, and whenever visceral inflammation is suspected.

    Cooley's Cyclopdia of Practical Receipts and Collateral Information in the Arts, Manufactures, Professions, and Trades..., Sixth Edition, Volume I Arnold Cooley

British Dictionary definitions for hernia

noun (pl) -nias, -niae (-nɪˌiː)

the projection of an organ or part through the lining of the cavity in which it is normally situated, esp the protrusion of intestine through the front wall of the abdominal cavity. It is caused by muscular strain, injury, etc Also called rupture

Derived Forms

hernial, adjective
herniated, adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Latin

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hernia


late 14c., hirnia, from Latin hernia "a rupture," related to hira "intestine," PIE ghere- "gut, entrail" (see yarn). The re-Latinized spelling is from 17c. Related: Herniated (1879).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hernia in Medicine

hernia her·ni·a (hûr'nē-ə)
n. pl. her·ni·as
The protrusion of an organ or other bodily structure through the wall that normally contains it.

her'ni·al adj.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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hernia in Science

hernia   (hûr'nē-ə)   
A condition in which an organ or body part, such as the intestine, protrudes through an opening in the body structure that normally contains it.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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hernia in Culture

hernia [(hur-nee-uh)]

The projection of an organ or part of an organ through the wall of the structure that surrounds it. Most often, the term is applied to the protrusion of a part of the intestine that can be observed as a lump in the lower abdomen.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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