bow·el (bouəl, boul)
a. often bowels The intestine.
b. A part or division of the intestine: the large bowel.
2. bowels The interior of something: in the bowels of the ship.
3. bowels Archaic The seat of pity or the gentler emotions.
[Middle English, from Old French boel, from Latin botellus, small intestine, diminutive of botulus, sausage.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.