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

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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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 No more passing out on the bathroom floor with an empty belly and the spins. Elissa Washuta, Harper's BAZAAR, 14 July 2021 The pasta arrives last, after the Scottish salmon in yuzu ponzu, the karaage and the bluefin tuna belly with shiitake salsa. Jenn Harris Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 11 July 2021 The new rendering shows the plane’s belly and nose. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 8 July 2021 Williams then laid belly-down on the ground to pull the ducklings out, one by one. Hearst Television, Chron, 30 June 2021 Appearing on stage in an embroidered Dolce & Gabbana bodysuit, a sheer panel in the abdomen exposed Cardi's burgeoning belly. Georgia Slater, PEOPLE.com, 28 June 2021 Seven years ago, Lisa Hanawalt published a comic on Hazlitt Magazine’s website depicting an anthropomorphic, topless toucan belly-up on the floor of her apartment trimming her toenails, clippings flying into the air. Jenna Scherer, Rolling Stone, 22 June 2021 Continuing the trend, Ari Lennox wore a white gown by Bishme Cromartie with cut-outs across the belly. Eliza Huber, refinery29.com, 29 June 2021 But during the few precious months when there isn’t snow on the ground, the dogs have different duties: educating tourists, posing for pictures and getting belly rubs. Bailey Berg, Anchorage Daily News, 28 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The see-ya-Miguel theory also ran into complications Tuesday: Arraez went on the concussion list for seven days after his foolish decision to belly slide into home plate on Monday. Star Tribune, 4 May 2021 Earl, a beer-bellied alien with a quad-cannon and a trucker hat, drawls about the simple life with a southern accent. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, 27 May 2020 Working quickly and in batches if necessary (adding more oil for the second batch if needed), arrange the dumplings belly side down in concentric circles starting from the outer edge. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 1 Feb. 2020 As loose-limbed a feel as the show boasts, though, this is an intricately staged and smartly conceived retelling of DiCamillo’s story about a mouse born with rampant curiosity, surprisingly large ears and an unusual lack of yellow-bellied-ness. James Hebert, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 July 2019 The alder, least and yellow-bellied only occur as migrants. Taylor Piephoff, charlotteobserver, 13 June 2018 Say bye-bye to belly fat and hello to a new and improved you. David Zinczenko, Fox News, 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, 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, 25 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for belly

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for belly

Last Updated

18 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Belly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/belly. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on belly

Nglish: Translation of belly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of belly for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about belly

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