Abdomen vs Stomach – Difference and Comparison

What is Abdomen?

The abdomen is also known as tummy, belly, or midriff is a body part situated between the chest (thorax) and pelvis. It is present in humans and other vertebrates. The upper surface of the abdomen is formed by the diaphragm. The pelvis begins and the abdomen ends at the level of pelvic bones.

It consists of digestive organs like the small intestine, large intestine, pancreas, liver, stomach, and gall bladder.  Connecting tissues (mesentery) held loosely these organs together and lets them expand and slide against each other. The Abdomen also contains the spleen and kidney.

The name abdomen is derived from the Latin word “abdodere” which means to hide. It’s like hiding whichever food was consumed. Most of the digestion and absorption of food occur in the abdomen. It digests food to extract nutrients and energy and throws the waste left. The major functions performed by the abdomen are ingestion, digestion, absorption, and excretion.

The diaphragm separates the abdomen from the chest. The abdomen is protected in the front by fascia- a thin and tough layer of tissue. The spine and the back muscles are in the rear of the abdomen. 

What is Stomach?

The stomach is a J-shaped digestive organ that is responsible for digesting food consumed by humans and other vertebrates. It is located inside the abdomen inclined to the left region. It contains acid that helps in breaking down the food into small particles.

Though the shape of the stomach is sac-like, its shape can vary depending on different animals. For example, the stomach of cows, buffaloes, and sheep has four chambers. The stomach’s location can be similar in animals like humans. The normal size and shape of a stomach is 12 inches in length and 6 inches in width. Its shape and size change according to the amount of food consumed. 

The stomach is derived from the Latin word “stomachus” which means food reservoir. The food consumed by us goes into the stomach but when it is empty it consists of gas and acid. This acid is known as gastric acid and when it is combined with digestive enzymes it helps in breaking down large food particles very easily. The food is thus absorbed by the body.

The stomach is located between the intestines and esophagus. Some creatures like lampreys, hagfishes, chimeras, and lungfishes do not have a stomach! They consume only those foods that do not require any storage. 

Difference Between Abdomen and Stomach

  1. Stomach is located between the intestines and the esophagus whereas the abdomen is located between the chest and the pelvis. 
  2. Stomach is a digestive organ whereas abdomen consists of all digestive organs including stomach.
  3. The main function of stomach is to break down large food particles into small molecules whereas the main functions of the abdomen are absorbing,digestion, ingestion, and excretion.
  4. The abdomen comes from the Latin word “abdodere” whereas the stomach comes from the Latin word “stomachus”.
  5. The stomach is the second stage of digestion process whereas the abdomen is the final stage of the digestion process.

Comparison Between Abdomen and Stomach

Parameters of ComparisonAbdomenStomach
DefinitionIt is a body part that contains all digestive organs including the stomach.Its main function is to digest the food consumed by animals and other vertebrates.
LocationIt is located between the thorax (chest) and pelvis.It is located inside the abdomen.
OriginThe abdomen is derived from the Latin word “abdodere” meaning “to hide”.The stomach is derived from the Latin word Stomachus which in fact comes from the Greek word Stomachos meaning reservoir of food.
Consists ofAll digestive organs include small and large intestines, stomach, gallbladder, liver, and pancreas.It consists of gastric juice that helps in digesting food.
FunctionMost of the digestion and absorption of food occur here.Gastric acid when combined with digestive enzymes helps in breaking down large food particles into small molecules.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0039610905706150
  2. https://gut.bmj.com/content/64/10/1650.short