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Entrails vs. Intestines — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Urooj Arif — Updated on May 5, 2024
Entrails refer to the internal organs of animals, especially when removed, whereas intestines specifically denote the digestive tubes extending from the stomach to the anus.
Entrails vs. Intestines — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Entrails and Intestines


Key Differences

Entrails are generally used to describe all the internal organs inside an animal's body cavity, particularly after they have been exposed or removed during processes like butchering or dissection. Whereas intestines are specifically part of the gastrointestinal system, primarily involved in digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Entrails include a wider range of organs such as the liver, heart, and lungs, which play various roles in an animal's physiology beyond digestion. On the other hand, intestines are solely dedicated to the gastrointestinal function, consisting of the small and large intestines.
Entrails are often mentioned in cultural, historical, and ritual contexts, symbolizing life, death, and divination. Whereas intestines are usually discussed in medical or biological contexts, focusing on their health, diseases, and their role in the digestive system.
Entrails may be removed and examined for signs of illness or used in ceremonial practices in some cultures. Whereas intestines are primarily studied for understanding digestive health and can be a focus in surgeries and treatment plans for gastrointestinal diseases.
Entrails are sometimes considered less specifically, where any organs could be referred, depending on the context. Whereas intestines are clearly divided into sections: the small intestine, including the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum, and the large intestine, including the colon, rectum, and anus.

Comparison Chart


Internal organs within the body cavity.
Specific organs for digestion.


May include liver, heart, lungs, etc.
Comprises only the digestive tract.

Primary Function

Varied depending on the organ.
Digestion and nutrient absorption.

Usage in Context

Often used in cultural or ritual contexts.
Primarily medical or dietary contexts


General term for internal organs.
Specifically refers to gut sections.

Compare with Definitions


Considered in various rituals as a medium for divination.
The soothsayer examined the entrails to predict the future.


The lower part of the alimentary canal from the stomach to the anus.
He suffered from inflammation in his intestines.


The internal organs of an animal, often removed for examination.
The hunter cleaned the entrails from the deer.


Divided into small and large sections based on function.
Nutrients are absorbed primarily in the small intestine.


Can refer to components within any complex system.
The technician examined the entrails of the computer.


Subject to various common diseases like IBS.
She changed her diet to manage her irritated intestines.


Sometimes used synonymously with guts.
The poem described the spilled entrails of the fallen beast.


Regularly studied in gastroenterology.
The study focused on the role of bacteria in the intestines.


Associated with deep, internal workings of systems.
The mechanic looked into the entrails of the machine.


Important for digestion and waste removal.
His healthy intestines were crucial for his overall well-being.


(archaic) entrail


The portion of the digestive tract extending from the stomach to the anus and, in humans and other mammals, consisting of two segments, the small intestine and the large intestine.


The internal organs of an animal, especially the intestines. 14


Internal; civil:the intestine affairs of the nation.


(obsolete) The seat of the emotions. 18


Plural of intestine


The internal parts of animal bodies; the bowels; the guts; viscera; intestines.


The internal parts; as, the entrails of the earth.
That treasure . . . hid the dark entrails of America.


Internal organs collectively (especially those in the abdominal cavity);
`viscera' is the plural form of `viscus'

Common Curiosities

Can entrails include intestines?

Yes, entrails can include intestines among other internal organs.

What is the main function of intestines?

The main function of intestines is to digest food and absorb nutrients.

What are entrails?

Internal organs, typically of animals, including but not limited to the intestines.

What are intestines?

Part of the digestive system, specifically the long tube that runs from the stomach to the anus.

Are entrails only found in animals?

Yes, entrails refer to the organs inside the body cavities of animals.

How are entrails removed?

Entrails are typically removed during butchering or surgical procedures.

How are entrails used in rituals?

Entrails are sometimes used in divination and cultural rituals to predict outcomes or seek spiritual insight.

Do humans have intestines?

Yes, humans have intestines, which are crucial for digestion.

Are entrails the same as offal?

Entrails are a type of offal, specifically referring to internal organs.

What parts make up the intestines?

The intestines are made up of the small intestine and large intestine.

What diseases can affect the intestines?

Diseases like Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and colorectal cancer can affect the intestines.

Is there a medical use for studying entrails?

While not commonly referred to in modern medicine, examining entrails can be part of forensic or pathological studies.

Are intestines involved in any other bodily functions?

Besides digestion, intestines also play a role in fluid balance and waste processing.

How do intestines aid in immunity?

The intestines play a key role in immune function by hosting gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT).

Can you eat intestines?

Yes, intestines are edible and are used in various cuisines around the world.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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