Definition of ileus in US English:



  • A painful obstruction of the ileum or other part of the intestine.

    • ‘It may also represent an ileus related to peritonitis or reflex ileus from pain referred to the abdomen from a thoracic disease like pulmonary infarction, pneumonia, or myocardial infarction.’
    • ‘Gastric retention occurs in many gastric lesions besides outlet obstruction, like gastritis and gastric motor disturbances, and intestinal dilatation occurs in gastroenteritis and ileus, besides obstruction.’
    • ‘He was managed conservatively with dietary restriction, parenteral fluids and alimentation, and prokinetic agents, and his paralytic ileus resolved.’
    • ‘While most cases of meconium ileus are due to cystic fibrosis, only ten to twenty percent of patients with cystic fibrosis present with meconium ileus.’
    • ‘This case occurred in a 19-year-old man with small bowel ileus following Klebsiella pneumonia.’


Late 17th century: from Latin, from Greek eileos, ilios ‘colic’, apparently from eilein ‘to roll’.