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Visceral Definition – Meaning and Usage in a Sentence

Visceral Definition – Meaning and Usage in a Sentence

One of the most popular questions searched on the internet is “how can I improve my vocabulary?” Understandably, not everyone wants to improve their English prowess. Nevertheless, learning visceral definition and meaning can significantly grow your knowledge of this word and help you communicate efficiently and clearly.

The word visceral is related to the viscera, meaning the body’s internal organs. The word is used to refer to organs found within the thoracic cavity. Common synonyms of the word visceral that you can use in sentences are gut, innards, bowels, belly, and gutting.

You may have heard this word in a hospital setup or never heard it. Whichever side you fall on, keep reading this article to discover the various meanings of the word visceral and how best to use the word in your sentences. Here we go!

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What Is the Definition of Visceral?

The word visceral comes from viscera, which refers to the body’s internal organs. The term visceral also describes something felt deep down.

When describing organs as viscera, remember that these organs are located deep in the body and are not easily accessible. Such organs include the intestines, liver, spleen, and stomach. For instance: The doctor said that the poison had gotten to her visceral organs by the time she got to the hospital.

A visceral feeling is what many people refer to as a “gut feeling.” You cannot explain such feelings rationally. For instance, if you suddenly decide to use a particular route instead of your usual one, we can call that a visceral action. In a sentence: These pictures are so painful that they can cause an incredibly visceral reaction.

What Is the Meaning of Visceral?

The term visceral also describes something that is not openly located. Note that viscera doesn’t necessarily refer to a body but also a place that might be challenging to get to.

For instance, when a tank is leaking viscerally, it means that the tank’s leak is not anywhere you can access easily. In a sentence: Nobody noticed that the boat had a visceral leak until it was too late to manage the situation.

Use the word visceral to explain an action caused by an impulse or a sudden emotion. For an action to be termed as visceral, it must be from an overwhelming emotion and not from thought or planning. 

Such actions cannot be explained rationally. For instance, buying flowers or chocolate is a visceral action when you love someone. A good example sentence is: Seeing his wife with another man promoted his visceral actions, causing him to commit murder.

Is Visceral Primarily a Medical Term?

Yes, visceral is a biological term that defines the large body organs in the lower abdomen. In fact, the word visceral comes from the Latin word viscus, which refers to the body’s various organs. 

Both visceral and viscera are words used in medicine and biology too. The word also describes the area of the body that holds significant organs of the body, such as the liver, gallbladder, stomach, and spleen.

Additionally, organs such as the intestines, lungs, and heart are also considered part of the visceral area. Due to the word referring to the organs found deep in the body, the word was later used to describe something felt deep down or intuitive figuratively. Since the word began as a biological term, it’s safe to say that it was originally a medical term.

How to Use Visceral in a Sentence?

The word visceral is an adjective. The term is also a noun (viscera) and adjective (viscerally).

When used as a noun, the word viscera becomes a biological term that refers to the body’s internal parts. While every organ can be referred to with this word, viscera are those within the lower abdomen.

Example sentences:

  • The vet cut open and examined the viscera of the dog to find out what infected and killed it.
  • The bullet punctured his viscera, damaging his stomach and spleen and causing internal bleeding.

The adverb version of the word (viscerally) explains a specific action. For instance, if an effort is made viscerally, the action is taken in a manner that shows overwhelming feelings.

Example sentences:

  • I want to think that the prince kissed Snow White viscerally to make sure she woke up from her spell.
  • It’s viscerally evident that the new interns don’t know what happens in this office.

10 Examples of Visceral in a Sentence

An essential part of learning a new word is using it in different sentences to help you understand its usage and build confidence. The following ten sentences show how visceral is used in various forms and scenarios. Read the sentences below for your practice.

  1. The intestines, stomach, spleen, and kidneys make up the body’s visceral organs.
  2. The Mission Impossible films create a visceral sensation of drama, suspense, and fear, keeping the audience glued to the movies.
  3. The people no longer feel the visceral understanding of what their fellow citizens went through during the war.
  4. While it’s understandable that basketball invokes the most visceral feelings, it’s not right when players act negatively to these feelings.
  5. Many people listen to classical music whenever they relax because it appeals to the listener on a visceral level.
  6. Seeing his sister being assaulted made him viscerally attack the man, take his gun and shoot him several times on the head.  
  7. For the advert to be successful, it has to create a visceral desire for the advertised object.  
  8. Doctors frequently teach their students by examining the viscera of a replica human body to determine various infections.
  9. When someone ages, most of their fat is located internally or viscerally, significantly compromising their health.
  10. Sadly, I am Caribbean, and it is viscerally apparent to me whenever I visit Europe.

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How Do You Spell Visceral?

The word visceral is spelled v.i.s.c.e.r.a.l or\ vɪ́sərəl\ according to the modern IPA.

When spelling this word, remember that the letter “c” is silent, thus, most likely to be left out.

Keep reading: Conspicuous Definition – Meaning and Usage In A Sentence

How Do You Pronounce Visceral?

The term visceral is pronounced [vis] [uh] [ruhl].

One important point to remember about this word is that its American and British pronunciations are different. While choosing an accent is not an issue, learning how to pronounce “visceral” correctly is crucial in your quest to learn the English language. To pronounce the word correctly, learn how different parts of the word are stressed when spoken.

How Many Syllables Are In Visceral?

The word visceral has three syllables

History & Etymology of Visceral

The word visceral comes from the Latin and French words viscéral and visceral, dating back to the 16th century.

The French word visceral means something that affects inward feelings; in Latin, the word refers to the body’s internal organs. The word was also used figuratively to show the origins of emotions since it was believed that the inner bowels were the source of human feelings.

When Was Visceral First Used?

The word visceral was first recorded as an English word meaning the body’s internal organs in 1794.

While the word’s literal meaning was recorded, the word had been used with the same meaning since the 1570s. Its symbolic meaning dissipated in 1640. However, the figurative definition of the word visceral was used again in the 1940s to describe art pieces.


Learning new words doesn’t have to be challenging, as they only require you to know what they mean and how to use them in conversations. Now that you know more about the word visceral, you can continue using the word in your writing and speech to gain more confidence. Remember that you can always refer to this article if you encounter some challenges with the word visceral.

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