Definition of colic in US English:



  • Severe, often fluctuating pain in the abdomen caused by intestinal gas or obstruction in the intestines and suffered especially by babies.

    • ‘Babies with colic often have difficulty sleeping, and feeding patterns may be disrupted by the bouts of crying.’
    • ‘If your baby has colic, picking him up to comfort him will not spoil him.’
    • ‘The passage of a gallstone down the bile duct into the duodenum is very painful, and is known as biliary colic.’
    • ‘While colic is not a sleep problem per se, colicky infants appear to have a shorter duration of total sleep.’
    • ‘Once an episode of biliary colic has occurred, there is a high risk of repeated pain attacks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Babies with colic will continue to feed and gain weight normally.’
    • ‘Aniseed, like fennel, is a traditional cure for stomach disorders and colic in babies.’
    • ‘The pain of renal colic is due to obstruction of urinary flow, with subsequent increasing wall tension in the urinary tract.’
    • ‘Although colic is not thought to be due to pain, a baby with colic may look uncomfortable or appear to be in pain.’
    • ‘People used to think that babies with colic were more likely to get asthma or allergies, but now doctors know that is not true.’
    • ‘About one third of patients with gallstones develop biliary colic or other complications.’
    • ‘Visceral pain originates in hollow organs and frequently presents as 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.’
    • ‘These foods encourage the production of wind, and may aggravate 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.’
    • ‘Pallor and abdominal colic were the symptoms reported most often by the parents.’
    • ‘Higher rates of colic were noted on days the infant received cow's milk compared with milk-free days.’
    • ‘Babies cry for many reasons, but bouts of prolonged crying could mean they are suffering from colic.’
    • ‘The powder of the dried flowers is also beneficial for various intestinal pains and colic.’


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