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
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 situationMeanwhile, 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 The plane crashed on its belly, wings drooping but with little front-end damage. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Federal investigators cite FAA failures in 2018 floatplane crash near Ketchikan," 7 Nov. 2019 Alexei and Loren announced the news on their respective Instagram accounts as well, sharing images of the couple cradling Loren’s baby bump and the dad-to-be even planting a kiss on her belly in one snapshot. Melody Chiu, PEOPLE.com, "90 Day Fiancé Stars Loren and Alexei Brovarnik Expecting First Child: 'It's a Surreal Moment'," 29 Oct. 2019 Glue cardboard graham crackers onto the top and bottom, and cut the square on her belly small enough to leave room for her legs. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "Sweet S'more," 25 Sep. 2019 On his belly in the shallow water among sharp coral and tiny jeweled fish. Katie Gutierrez, Longreads, "How to Predict the Unpredictable," 24 Sep. 2019 The most recognizable species in Michigan is probably the eastern fox squirrel, which sports gray fur on its back and yellowish fur on its belly over a hefty body frame 8 to 10 inches long. Michigan Wildlife Council, Detroit Free Press, "How Michigan squirrels boost conservation work across the state," 28 Aug. 2019 How to do it: On the next inhale, look between your hands, shift your weight forward, and lie on your belly on the mat. Hayden Carpenter, Outside Online, "12 Yoga Poses for Climbers to Do Daily," 9 Aug. 2019 The horror was plain: The main bunk room where their 33 customers and a fellow crew member dozed lay directly below, in the belly of the boat. Los Angeles Times, "What sparked the California boat fire that killed 34? Charred Conception might hold the answer," 13 Sep. 2019 Victorious presidential candidates need fire in the belly. Deroy Murdock, National Review, "What Makes Joe Run?," 6 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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, "Review: ‘The Tale of Despereaux’ a charming and inventive musical take on children’s fable at Old Globe," 15 July 2019 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

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

21 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Belly.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bellying. Accessed 22 November 2019.

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More Definitions for belly

belly

noun
How to pronounce belly (audio)

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
d : the stomach and its adjuncts
2 : the enlarged fleshy body of a muscle

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More from Merriam-Webster on belly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for belly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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