An illustration of the pancreas.
An example of a pancreas is the organ that produces insulin to regulate glucose in the body.
Origin of pancreasModern Latin ; from Classical Greek pankreas ; from pan, all (see pan-) + kreas, flesh (see crude)
Origin of pancreasGreek pankreas : pan-, pan- + kreas, flesh; see kreu&schwa;- in Indo-European roots.
(plural pancreases or pancreata)
- (anatomy) A gland near the stomach which secretes a fluid into the duodenum to help with food digestion. The fluid contains protease, carbohydrase and lipase, which breaks down larger molecules into smaller pieces. The pancreas also produces the hormones insulin and glucagon which regulate blood sugar. These hormones are released into the cardiovascular system.
Existing in English since the sixteenth century: from Latin pancreas, from Ancient Greek Ï€Î¬Î³ÎºÏÎµÎ±Ï‚ (pankreas), from Ï€á¾¶Î½ (pan, “all") (equivalent to English pan-) + ÎºÏÎÎ±Ï‚ (kreas, “flesh").