Dictionary

1belly

noun bel·ly \ˈbe-lē\

: a person's stomach or the part of the body that contains the stomach

: the part of an animal's body that is like a person's belly

: a curved or rounded surface or part

plural bellies

Full Definition of BELLY

1
a :  abdomen 1; also :  potbelly 1
b :  the stomach and its adjuncts
c :  the undersurface of an animal's body; also :  hide from this part
d :  womb, uterus
2
:  an internal cavity :  interior
3
:  appetite for food
4
:  a surface or object curved or rounded like a human belly
5
a :  the enlarged fleshy body of a muscle
b :  the part of a sail that swells out when filled with wind
6
:  gut 1a(2)
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Examples of BELLY

  1. He got down on his belly to crawl.
  2. They slid down the snowy hill on their bellies.
  3. a gray squirrel with a white belly
  4. the belly of an airplane
  5. the belly of a ship

Origin of BELLY

Middle English bely bellows, belly, from Old English belg bag, skin; akin to Old High German balg bag, skin, Old English blāwan to blow — more at blow
First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with BELLY

2belly

verb

: to cause (something, such as a sail) to curve or bulge outward

bel·liedbel·ly·ing

Full Definition of BELLY

transitive verb
:  to cause to swell or fill out <wind bellying the sails>
intransitive verb
1
:  swell, fill
2
a :  to slide or crawl on one's belly
b :  belly-land

Examples of BELLY

  1. <the sails slowly bellied as the wind picked up>
  2. <recruits were forced to belly over the obstacle course under simulated enemy fire>

First Known Use of BELLY

1606

Rhymes with BELLY

BELLIES Defined for Kids

belly

noun bel·ly \ˈbe-lē\
plural bellies

Definition of BELLY for Kids

1
:  the front part of the body between the chest and the hips
2
:  the under part of an animal's body
3
:  1stomach 1 <My belly was full.>
4
:  a space inside something <cargo stored in the ship's belly>

Word History of BELLY

Our words bellows and belly both come from an Old English word belg, meaning bag or purse. The plural from belga was also used with the meaning bellows. It was probably a shortening of the compound word blæstbelga, literally, blow-bags. It is belga that ultimately gives us the modern word bellows. The singular belg gives us the modern word belly, though the use of a word meaning bag for stomach only arose in English of the later Middle Ages, after the end of the Old English period.
Medical Dictionary

belly

noun bel·ly \ˈbel-ē\
plural bellies

Medical Definition of BELLY

1
a :  abdomen 1a b :  the undersurface of an animal's body c :  womb, uterus d :  the stomach and its adjuncts
2
:  the enlarged fleshy body of a muscle

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