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The Collaborative International Dictionary

cecum \cecum\ n. The caecum, the cavity in which the large intestine begins and into which the ileum opens.

Syn: caecum, blind gut.


caecum \cae"cum\, n.; pl. C[ae]cums, L. C[ae]ca. [L. caecus blind, invisible, concealed.] (Anat.)

  1. A cavity open at one end, as the blind end of a canal or duct.

  2. The blind part of the large intestine beyond the entrance of the small intestine; -- called also the blind gut.

    Note: The c[ae]cum is comparatively small in man, and ends in a slender portion, the vermiform appendix; but in herbivorous mammals it is often as large as the rest of the large intestine. In fishes there are often numerous intestinal c[ae]ca.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

variant of caecum.


n. (alternative spelling of caecum English)

  1. n. the cavity in which the large intestine begins and into which the ileum opens; "the appendix is an offshoot of the cecum" [syn: caecum, blind gut]

  2. [also: ceca (pl)]


The cecum or caecum (, plural ceca ; from the Latincaecus meaning blind) is an intraperitoneal pouch that is considered to be the beginning of the large intestine. It receives chyme from the ileum, and connects to the ascending colon of the large intestine. It is separated from the ileum by the ileocecal valve (ICV) or Bauhin's valve. It is also separated from the colon by the cecocolic junction. The appendix is connected to the cecum. While the cecum is usually intraperitoneal, the ascending colon is retroperitoneal.

In herbivores, the cecum stores food material where bacteria are able to break down the cellulose. This function no longer occurs in the human cecum (see appendix), so in humans it is simply a dead-end pouch forming a part of the large intestine.

Usage examples of "cecum".

The digestive organs were double and separate as far as the lower third of the ilium, and the cecum was on the left side and single, in common with the lower bowel.

Ephemerides contains the account of an example of double cecum, and Alexander speaks of a double colon, and there are other cases of duplication of the bowel recorded.

It is the shrunken and shriveled remains of a large pouch of the intestine which once opened into the cecum, and was used originally as a sort of second stomach for delaying and digesting the remains of the food.

One end of this worm is attached to the cecum, which is the pouch that forms the beginning of the large intestine.

Our primate ancestors were herbivores, and in its original form, the appendix was probably of some use in aiding digestionmodern herbivores have an extended cecum that resembles a longer version of our appendix.