(don't) have the stomach for (something)

Meaning(s)

1. be brave or determined enough to do something unpleasant

Popularity

High

Professional

High

Social

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have the stomach for the fight

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This expression has nothing to do with your stomach, unless you think of it in terms of anxiety or nervousness that manifests in your stomach. It's all about having the determination or perseverance to get through something difficult. Don't get this confused with 'can't stomach something', which means you can't stand or abide something, as if it makes you feel sick. If you 'don't have the stomach for something', it means you feel you don't have the skills or ability to do something. Usually, these expressions are used in relation to tasks that are unpleasant or morally questionable. You are more likely to hear this used in an informal context. Similar in meaning to 'having courage' (positive) or 'being yellow-bellied' (negative).

Check Icon Social Examples (Advance)

  1. This job requires someone who can make hard decisions, and I'm not sure David has the stomach for it.
  2. I just don't have the stomach to do something so dishonest.
  3. Luke had to leave the military because he realized that he simply didn't have the stomach for combat.
  4. I didn't have the stomach to look her in the eye after what I had done.

Check Icon Professional Examples (Basic)

  1. As a business, we have never had the stomach to exploit our employees.
  2. Would you mind doing these accounts? I just don't think I have the stomach for it today.
  3. It appears the organisation encouraged some surprising initiation rituals that some fledgling members didn't have the stomach to complete.
  4. "You suggested promoting John, but I don't agree. I don't believe he has the stomach to do what's necessary in this job."

Check Icon Social Examples (Basic)

  1. "I'm not doing that again. After what went wrong last time, I just don't have the stomach for it anymore."

2. be unable to tolerate certain types of food

Popularity

Low

Professional

High

Social

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don't have the stomach for spicy food

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In informal contexts, the expression 'to have the stomach for' or 'to stomach' can refer to your tolerance for particular types of food, such as spicy, fatty etc.

Check Icon Social Examples (Basic)

  1. I enjoyed the time I spent in India last year, but I realized that I don't have the stomach for spicy food.
  2. I loved my trip to Italy, but after three months I don't think I have the stomach for another plate of pasta.
  3. Since I changed my diet last year I just don't have the stomach to eat meat anymore and I don't crave any sweet food either.

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