Definition of colic in English:



mass noun
  • Severe pain in the abdomen caused by wind or obstruction in the intestines and suffered especially by babies.

    • ‘Pallor and abdominal colic were the symptoms reported most often by the parents.’
    • ‘Babies cry for many reasons, but bouts of prolonged crying could mean they are suffering from colic.’
    • ‘Once an episode of biliary colic has occurred, there is a high risk of repeated pain attacks.’
    • ‘Visceral pain originates in hollow organs and frequently presents as colic.’
    • ‘The passage of a gallstone down the bile duct into the duodenum is very painful, and is known as biliary colic.’
    • ‘Remember that most colic disappears before your baby is three months old and nappy rash is usually easily treated, so relief is in sight.’
    • ‘If your baby has colic, picking him up to comfort him will not spoil him.’
    • ‘The pain of renal colic is due to obstruction of urinary flow, with subsequent increasing wall tension in the urinary tract.’
    • ‘While colic is not a sleep problem per se, colicky infants appear to have a shorter duration of total sleep.’
    • ‘People used to think that babies with colic were more likely to get asthma or allergies, but now doctors know that is not true.’
    • ‘Aniseed, like fennel, is a traditional cure for stomach disorders and colic in babies.’
    • ‘Although colic is not thought to be due to pain, a baby with colic may look uncomfortable or appear to be in pain.’
    • ‘Babies with colic will continue to feed and gain weight normally.’
    • ‘The powder of the dried flowers is also beneficial for various intestinal pains and colic.’
    • ‘These foods encourage the production of wind, and may aggravate colic.’
    • ‘In the mid eighteenth century a severe illness called the Devonshire colic was traced to lead poisoning from the metal used to seal holes in mills and presses.’
    • ‘About one third of patients with gallstones develop biliary colic or other complications.’
    • ‘Higher rates of colic were noted on days the infant received cow's milk compared with milk-free days.’
    • ‘Babies with colic often have difficulty sleeping, and feeding patterns may be disrupted by the bouts of crying.’
    • ‘Do not be tempted to add solid foods to your baby's bottle feed in an attempt to help them sleep at night, as this can cause wind and colic.’


Late Middle English: from Old French colique, from late Latin colicus, from colon (see colon).