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The Collaborative International Dictionary


Liver \Liv"er\, n. [AS. lifer; akin to D. liver, G. leber, OHG. lebara, Icel. lifr, Sw. lefver, and perh. to Gr. ? fat, E. live, v.] (Anat.) A very large glandular and vascular organ in the visceral cavity of all vertebrates.

Note: Most of the venous blood from the alimentary canal passes through it on its way back to the heart; and it secretes the bile, produces glycogen, and in other ways changes the blood which passes through it. In man it is situated immediately beneath the diaphragm and mainly on the right side. See Bile, Digestive, and Glycogen. The liver of invertebrate animals is usually made up of c[ae]cal tubes, and differs materially, in form and function, from that of vertebrates.

Floating liver. See Wandering liver, under Wandering.

Liver of antimony, Liver of sulphur. (Old Chem.) See Hepar.

Liver brown, Liver color, the color of liver, a dark, reddish brown.

Liver shark (Zo["o]l.), a very large shark ( Cetorhinus maximus), inhabiting the northern coasts both of Europe and North America. It sometimes becomes forty feet in length, being one of the largest sharks known; but it has small simple teeth, and is not dangerous. It is captured for the sake of its liver, which often yields several barrels of oil. It has gill rakers, resembling whalebone, by means of which it separates small animals from the sea water. Called also basking shark, bone shark, hoemother, homer, and sailfish; it is sometimes referred to as whale shark, but that name is more commonly used for the Rhincodon typus, which grows even larger.

Liver spots, yellowish brown patches on the skin, or spots of chloasma.