belly

noun
bel·​ly | \ ˈbe-lē How to pronounce belly (audio) \
plural bellies

Definition of belly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

b : the stomach and its adjuncts
c : the undersurface of an animal's body also : hide from this part
d : womb, uterus
2a : an internal cavity : interior
b : a central place where something is most prevalent, concentrated, or deeply ingrained … he became the hottest songwriter in Nashville, an antiauthoritarian smack-dab in the belly of the establishment.— Tony Scherman often used in the phrase the belly of the beast to refer especially to a dangerous or hostile place or situation Meanwhile, the very best bodies of America are in prison, pumping iron in the belly of the beast.— Robert Lipsyte
3 : appetite for food
4 : a surface or object curved or rounded like a human belly
5a : the enlarged fleshy body of a muscle
b : the part of a sail that swells out when filled with wind

belly

verb
bellied; bellying

Definition of belly (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to cause to swell or fill out wind bellying the sails

intransitive verb

1 : swell, fill
2a : to slide or crawl on one's belly

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Synonyms & Antonyms for belly

Synonyms: Noun

appetite, emptiness, famishment, hunger, munchies, stomach

Synonyms: Verb

bag, balloon, beetle, billow, bulge, bunch, jut, overhang, poke, pooch [chiefly dialect], pouch, pout, project, protrude, stand out, start, stick out, swell

Antonyms: Noun

inappetence

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Examples of belly in a Sentence

Noun

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

Verb

the sails slowly bellied as the wind picked up recruits were forced to belly over the obstacle course under simulated enemy fire
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And is that Betty returning to the belly of the beast, AKA the Sisters of Quiet Mercy? Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "Watch Veronica and Reggie Embrace in New "Riverdale" Season 3 Part 2 Trailer," 9 Jan. 2019 But that doesn't mean everyone loves the airline with a heart emblazoned on the belly of its planes and LUV as its ticker symbol. Dawn Gilbertson, azcentral, "Southwest Airlines named best U.S. carrier, but not every passenger feels the LUV," 10 Apr. 2018 But making the photo shoot about herself and demonstrating her pregnant belly is not acceptable in a wedding photo. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "A Bride Told Her Pregnant Bridesmaid to Stop 'Showing Off' Her Belly in Photos," 14 Mar. 2019 Start on your hands and knees with the roller underneath your belly. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Why This Holiday Break Is a Perfect Time to Start Foam-Rolling," 28 Dec. 2018 Their bellies can range from yellow to brown to orange, but many species otherwise look quite similar. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Two New Yellow-Bellied Bats May Have Been Found in Kenya," 13 July 2018 Marmalade heaved himself forward, slowly at first, his grey belly propelling him toward the sea. Christina Tkacik, baltimoresun.com, "Free Marmalade: Harbor seal rescued by National Aquarium returned to seawater in Ocean City," 8 June 2018 This Mayo Clinic Minute explains why eating breakfast could be the key to slimming down your belly. Robert Philpot, star-telegram, "Report: TCU-area Cafe Brazil closes; chicken-and-waffles restaurant moving in | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 2 May 2018 Ninety percent of sea birds, for example, have been found to have plastic in their bellies. Emily Atkin, The New Republic, "The Global Crisis of Plastic Pollution," 16 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The alder, least and yellow-bellied only occur as migrants. Taylor Piephoff, charlotteobserver, "Willow flycatchers are maddingly difficult to identify in the field," 13 June 2018 Say bye-bye to belly fat and hello to a new and improved you. David Zinczenko, Fox News, "'The Super Metabolism Diet' by David Zinczenko," 8 Jan. 2018 Patients have included dogs and cats, of course, but also a bearded dragon lizard, a hamster, a hedgehog and a pot-bellied pig. Nancy Dahlberg, miamiherald, "Customers give this South Florida startup two paws up | Miami Herald," 23 Feb. 2018 But giving them a run for the money will be the wildlife ambassadors that call the Science Center home: Ethel the opossum, Spooks the hognose snake, Sunny the yellow-bellied ball python and Mr. Six the three-toed box turtle. Faye Reeder, star-telegram, "Cocktails, appetizers, s’mores, jazz, stargazing and wildlife at Night With Nature | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 25 Oct. 2017 Though some stars are the types of muscular super-humans who populate sports like football and basketball, others are lanky, beer-bellied, stocky, or short. Alex Putterman, The Atlantic, "Jose Altuve, Baseball’s Unlikeliest Superstar," 6 Oct. 2017 Instead, the presidents have bellied their schools up to the bar and really opened the tap. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: FBI confirms NCAA doesn't run NCAA basketball. Shoe companies do.," 28 Sep. 2017 Stunning red berries appear in late summer and fall that attractive a number of birds, including the yellow bellied sapsucker. Jill Sell, cleveland.com, "Late summer and fall blooming plants add beauty to any yard," 13 Aug. 2017 The bar opened its doors in 1852 as Peter King’s Granite Store, a general mercantile, where miners could belly up to the bar — planks plunked atop barrels — and get a drink. Jackie Burrell, The Mercury News, "Yosemite: 5 ways to play in charming Groveland," 25 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'belly.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of belly

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1606, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for belly

Noun

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 entry 1

Verb

verbal derivative of belly entry 1

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Statistics for belly

Last Updated

11 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for belly

The first known use of belly was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for belly

belly

noun

English Language Learners Definition of belly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

belly

verb

English Language Learners Definition of belly (Entry 2 of 2)

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

belly

noun
bel·​ly | \ ˈbe-lē How to pronounce belly (audio) \
plural bellies

Kids Definition of belly

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

belly

noun
bel·​ly | \ ˈbel-ē How to pronounce belly (audio) \
plural bellies

Medical Definition of belly

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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More from Merriam-Webster on belly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with belly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for belly

Spanish Central: Translation of belly

Nglish: Translation of belly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of belly for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about belly

Comments on belly

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