Intestines, in anatomy, are those hollow membranous- tubes of the human body, commonly termed the guts or bowels, which extend from the right orifice of the stomach to the anus. They are six times longer than the whole body, and by Nature destined to receive the chyme, or the aliment, so called after it is converted into a kind of pulp, which they retain for a time; then to mix it with the intestinal juice and bile, to separate and propel the chyle into the milk-vessels, and to eliminate the excrements.
The intestines are extremely irritable. If one of the bowels be slightly cut, the edges of the wound retract equally; and if it be penetrated or cut through., they curl themselves back so as to envelope the upper parts ; and the inside is thus completely turned outwards. For an account of the constituent parts and denominations of the intestines, the reader will consult the article Abdomen.-See also Inflammation of the Bowels.