Definition of pancreas in US English:



  • A large gland behind the stomach which secretes digestive enzymes into the duodenum. Embedded in the pancreas are the islets of Langerhans, which secrete into the blood the hormones insulin and glucagon.

    • ‘The key, he believes, is insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas gland.’
    • ‘Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that lets the body turn blood sugar into energy or store it as fat.’
    • ‘Most people get cancer in the part of the pancreas that produces digestive juices.’
    • ‘Crucial to this is the hormone insulin, which is secreted into the blood by the pancreas - a gland found behind the stomach.’
    • ‘Insulin is the hormone secreted by your pancreas that regulates your level of blood sugar.’
    • ‘Occasionally, an inflamed pancreas or duodenum can cause pain in this area as well.’
    • ‘One function of the pancreas is to produce enzymes that aid in the digestion of food.’
    • ‘The injury may be obvious in patients with a major fracture of the body or neck of the pancreas or associated duodenal injury.’
    • ‘This causes the blood sugar level to rise, making the pancreas produce even more insulin.’
    • ‘The pancreas secretes the hormone insulin which is the key to allowing glucose to enter the cells.’
    • ‘In most cases, these changes were found in the ventral pancreas but not in the dorsal pancreas.’
    • ‘He began by showing that the pancreas, secreting its juice into the duodenum, was capable of digesting foodstuffs.’
    • ‘The main structures to consider in the umbilical area are the aorta and the pancreas.’
    • ‘The duct from the pancreas enters the duodenum at the same point as the bile duct.’
    • ‘This is because they are controlled by insulin, and your pancreas produces insulin.’
    • ‘Insulin is the hormone, secreted in the pancreas, that carries energy-giving glucose to our muscles.’
    • ‘The duodenum receives bile from the liver and digestive enzymes from the pancreas.’
    • ‘Other parts of the body such as the pancreas and thyroid may also be inflamed, which can be painful.’
    • ‘Insulin is a hormone that is secreted by the pancreas in response to high glucose levels in the blood.’
    • ‘The shortage of human donor pancreases for islet cell transplantation has led to a search for alternative sources of islet cells.’


Late 16th century: modern Latin, from Greek pankreas, from pan ‘all’ + kreas ‘flesh’.