Definition of gut in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɡət/


1 (also guts) The stomach or belly: a painful stabbing feeling in his gut
More example sentences
  • If the President lined up every world leader in a line and systematically punched each of them in the gut in the name of unilateral diplomacy, would you still vote for him?
  • All of this has got to cause a churning in his gut.
  • Sims' basslines were jabs to the gut - physical in the extreme.
stomach, belly, abdomen, solar plexus;
intestines, bowels
informal tummy, tum, insides, innards
1.1 Medicine & Biology The lower alimentary canal or a part of this; the intestine: microbes which naturally live in the human gut
More example sentences
  • Different strains infect different tissues and organs - lungs, guts, kidneys, livers, brains or reproductive systems.
  • A stoma is an artificial opening to or from the intestine (which is also known as the gut or bowel) on the abdominal wall usually created by a surgeon.
  • In some the problem has a behavioural basis, whereas in others there may be subtle neuromuscular abnormalities of the gut.
1.2 (guts) Entrails that have been removed or exposed in violence or by a butcher.
Example sentences
  • Imagine trying to remove the guts of a cow or chicken once every minute.
  • My father cut the shark open, removed the guts, cut the head off, and then preserved him in ice.
  • Cut off the heads, remove the clear coloured backbone and remove the guts to leave a large opening at the head end.
intestines, viscera;
informal insides, innards
1.3 (guts) The internal parts or essence of something: the guts of a modern computer
More example sentences
  • They look like the inner guts of extraterrestrial watches.
  • There are ten cables spilling out of a socket in the kitchen, white tubes that remind me of the guts of the robot in the Alien movie.
  • Somebody is selling a music player whose guts have been swapped with the innards of what looks like a $2 miniature toy electric guitar.
2 (guts) informal Personal courage and determination; toughness of character: she had both more brains and more guts than her husband you just haven’t got the guts to admit it
More example sentences
  • We needed lots of guts, determination and character to win the game - and we need to do that for the rest of the season.
  • He is proof that there are many young people with principles, guts and determination and it's time we started respecting them for it.
  • Yarnbury moved out of the bottom three as sheer guts, determination and spirit saw them through.
courage, bravery, backbone, nerve, pluck, spirit, boldness, audacity, daring, grit, fearlessness, feistiness, toughness, determination
informal spunk, moxie
2.1 [often as modifier] informal Used in reference to a feeling or reaction based on an instinctive emotional response rather than considered thought: I had a gut feeling that something was wrong trusting his gut instinct, he went ahead and made the call I could feel it in my guts—he was out there, watching me
More example sentences
  • I don't frankly like to base myself on instincts or gut feelings about this.
  • We commonly think of the intuition as a strong feeling, instinct, or gut reaction.
  • But you should develop the capacity to reflect on gut feelings rather than acting on them impulsively.
instinctive, instinctual, intuitive, deep-seated;
knee-jerk, automatic, involuntary, spontaneous, unthinking, visceral
3Fiber made from the intestines of animals, used especially for violin or racket strings or for surgical use: [as modifier]: gut strings
More example sentences
  • The instrument itself was made of wood, with gut or horsehair strings.
  • It's like a pear-shaped instrument, the body is covered in skin, and the strings are made of gut.
  • Tchaikovsky's strings were gut rather than metal and were played with little vibrato.
4A narrow passage or strait.
Example sentences
  • McHale was trudging through the gut ahead of me at the side of the boat when he suddenly vanished at a spot marked only by the float of his hat.
  • Most bumps in the Rowing-On divisions took place below the gut, leaving spectators not much more to observe than the bizarre attire of various crews.
  • Various tours are available by speed boats that take you for the most spectacular views, even up the gut to laugh in the face of El Diablo.

verb (guts, gutting, gutted)

[with object]
1Take out the intestines and other internal organs of (a fish or other animal) before cooking it.
Example sentences
  • After getting a few fish each, they swam in the pond before they went back to the beach to clean and gut the fish and prepare them for dinner.
  • Let the fishmonger scale, clean and gut the fish (I leave the head on).
  • Those who have gutted a deer or skinned a rabbit might have some idea of the extreme nature of what an edged weapon can do to flesh.
remove the guts from, disembowel, draw
formal eviscerate
1.1Remove or destroy completely the internal parts of (a building or other structure): the fire gutted most of the factory
More example sentences
  • Forensic experts are still sifting through debris from the Newbridge Courthouse fire, which gutted the historic building last Thursday morning.
  • By this time, Mrs Hatley's old kitchen had been gutted ready for the replacement.
  • In the old city, many homes had been gutted and destroyed.
devastate, destroy, demolish, wipe out, lay waste, ravage, consume, ruin, wreck
2British informal Cause (someone) to feel extremely upset or disappointed: it guts me to think about what my mother and brother missed out on (as adjective gutting) she described the ruling as absolutely gutting
More example sentences
  • I wouldn't say it broke my heart, but it absolutely gutted me.
  • It gutted me as a member of the goalkeepers' union when Barthez had that bad spell of three or four games but he's come back with some unbelievable saves.
  • The Elephant man just had me in floods of tears with the sad nobility of Merrick's death, whereas Menace's uber-bleak ending gutted me so much that I ended up choking back tears.



bust a gut

1Make a strenuous effort: a problem which nobody is going to bust a gut trying to solve
More example sentences
  • We win together and we lose together and I knew they would be busting a gut to get the car perfect as quickly as was safely possible.
  • You cannot play this game with nine or ten men busting a gut and a few others standing around watching them.
  • I've just been busting a gut to get everything done before I go to NY tomorrow.
2Laugh very heartily: his facial expressions and ad libs were enough to get audiences to bust a gut
More example sentences
  • Glancing into the audience I saw Papa just about to bust a gut laughing.
  • I never went five minutes without busting a gut.
  • The dog eating the squeaky toy was simply too much… I nearly bust a gut.

—— one's guts out

Used to indicate that the specified action is done or performed as hard as possible: he ran his guts out and finished fourth
More example sentences
  • I wasn't getting paid and although it's not all about money you're not going to slug your guts out for nothing.
  • I do sympathise tremendously - here you are slogging your guts out so that your family can be happy, and yet the amount of time you spend out of the home renders you a virtual stranger to them.
  • Watch out for the programme to be telecast shortly and laugh your guts out!

hate someone's guts

informal Feel a strong hatred for someone.
Example sentences
  • I learnt that someone from my past who I thought liked me in fact hates my guts with a passion.
  • Other economists hate your guts for selling out to the liberals.
  • I'm pretty sure my brothers and sisters hated my guts.


Old English guttas (plural), probably related to gēotan 'pour'.

  • Gut is probably related to Old English gēotan ‘to pour’. Guts was used commonly for ‘stomach, bowels’; it became more informal and also came to mean ‘force of character, courage’ from the late 19th century. The notion of ‘basic’ as in gut reaction arose in the 1960s.

Words that rhyme with gut

abut, but, butt, cut, glut, hut, intercut, jut, Mut, mutt, phut, putt, rut, scut, shortcut, shut, slut, smut, strut, tut, undercut

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: gut

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