belly flop


: a dive (as into water or in coasting prone on a sled) in which the front of the body strikes flat against another surface

called also belly flopper

: a complete and often painful or embarrassing failure : flop
… instead of doing a belly flop at the box office, Vampire soared …Jeff Gordinier
belly flop intransitive verb

Examples of belly flop in a Sentence

She did a belly flop into the pool.
Recent Examples on the Web The Rangers rank third after a fantastic first two months followed by a 12-19 belly flop into the All-Star break. Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas News, 14 July 2023 But this weekend's rivalry game against South Carolina will give a huge boost after the Gamecocks' win against Tennessee and North Carolina would still represent a very quality win in the ACC championship game even after the Tar Heels' belly flop against Georgia Tech. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, 22 Nov. 2022 The mixture of belly flops and awkward falls off balance beams is simply intoxicating. Dalton Ross,, 23 Mar. 2023 Texas likes to make a splash even if that splash is a belly flop. Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas News, 13 Mar. 2023 First, visitors must step into the cycle area, straddle the seat, then kneel onto a padded area, and then lean forward — not really a belly flop but akin to it. Dewayne Bevil, Orlando Sentinel, 2 Mar. 2023 If any further punctuation was needed, Babylon opened to a resounding belly flop at the box office. Gregg Kilday, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 Jan. 2023 While the screenplay by Cameron, Rick Jaffa, and Amanda Silver is a major step up from the original, it’s still preachy, predictable, and full of dialogue that lands with a thud, or rather, a belly flop. Odie Henderson,, 14 Dec. 2022 But there was for the Bears, who followed a 38-35 win in Norman with a complete belly flop at home against Kansas State in a 31-3 loss. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, 13 Nov. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'belly flop.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1890, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of belly flop was circa 1890

Dictionary Entries Near belly flop

Cite this Entry

“Belly flop.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

belly flop

: a dive (as into the water) in which the front of the body lands flat
belly flop verb

More from Merriam-Webster on belly flop

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!