large intestine

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large intestine The portion of the alimentary canal of vertebrates between the small intestine and the anus. It consists of the caecum, colon, and rectum and its principal function is the absorption of water and formation of faeces.

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large intestine The part of the gut between the small intestine and the anus: caecum, colon and rectum. ‘Large’ because it is a wider tube, although much shorter, than the ‘small’ intestine. From the caecum, low on the right side (from which the appendix arises), the ascending, then the transverse, then the descending parts of the colon lead to the rectum, low on the left side. Water is progressively absorbed as the contents are moved onwards for storage in the rectum.

Stuart Judge


See alimentary system.
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large in·tes·tine • n. Anat. the cecum, colon, and rectum collectively.

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large intestine: see intestine.