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spleen Syllabification: spleen

Definition of spleen in English:


1 Anatomy An abdominal organ involved in the production and removal of blood cells in most vertebrates and forming part of the immune system.
Example sentences
  • Glass particles were found in the pulmonary capillaries, livers, kidneys, spleens, and intestinal walls of animals studied.
  • These lesions have been reported in the brain, 3 lymph nodes, 4 spleens, 5 lungs, 6 and several other sites.
  • The lateral approach provides an excellent view of the splenic vessels, pancreas, and accessory spleens.
2Bad temper; spite: he could vent his spleen on the institutions that had duped him
[From the earlier belief that the spleen was the seat of such emotions]
More example sentences
  • No sisterhood here: both Anna and Claire vent their spleen upon her with hilariously withering spite.
  • Every now and again - usually these days in grand slam finals - they get the chance to vent their spleen and lay into each other in public.
  • So blogging will be light for the next two weeks or so, until I find a new equilibrium, or a compelling reason to vent my spleen.
bad temper, bad mood, ill temper, ill humor, anger, wrath, vexation, annoyance, irritation, displeasure, dissatisfaction, resentment, rancor;
literary ire, choler


Pronunciation: /ˈsplēnf(ə)l/
sense 2.
Example sentences
  • The spiteful, mean and spleenful invections of the gutter press always amuse me.
  • I didn't want to be so spleenful and bileful and moaning and groaning and complaining and whining about the misfortunes of the past.
  • Then came a spleenful Soglin, who attacked the municipal revenue-sharing policies of the stunned Governor…


Middle English: shortening of Old French esplen, via Latin from Greek splēn.

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