be·​long | \ bi-ˈlȯŋ How to pronounce belong (audio) , bē-\
belonged; belonging; belongs

Definition of belong

intransitive verb

1a : to be suitable, appropriate, or advantageous a dictionary belongs in every home
b : to be in a proper situation a man of his ability belongs in teaching
2a : to be the property of a person or thing used with to the book belongs to me
b : to be attached or bound by birth, allegiance, or dependency usually used with to they belong to their homeland
c : to be a member of a club, organization, or set usually used with to she belongs to a country club
3 : to be an attribute, part, adjunct, or function of a person or thing nuts and bolts belong to a car
4 : to be properly classified

auxiliary verb

chiefly Southern US and south Midland US : ought, must

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Synonyms for belong



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Examples of belong in a Sentence

She was here for 15 years, but she never really belonged. your shoes belong in the closet, not in the middle of the living room where people will trip on them

Recent Examples on the Web

Of the eight players who have started at least half of U of L’s 65 games this year, the lowest batting average belongs to Jake Snider, at .289. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "What it lacks in star power, Louisville baseball makes up for in offensive firepower," 11 June 2019 Vibe’s Lexington Avenue offices formerly belonged to the New Yorker. Michael Gonzales, Longreads, "It’s Like That: The Makings of a Hip-Hop Writer," 10 June 2019 The newest belongs to Firefighter Michael R. Kennedy who, along with Lieutenant Edward J. Walsh Jr., died in a devastating nine-alarm fire on Beacon Street in the Back Bay March 26, 2014. Gal Tziperman Lotan,, "Boston firefighters gather to remember their fallen," 9 June 2019 Many of the speakers argued that homes don’t belong at Cubberley or questioned why they were added to the conversation seemingly at the last minute. Maggie Angst, The Mercury News, "Houses may be added to master plan for Palo Alto’s Cubberley center," 8 June 2019 Many of the other faces in the set, however, belong to people who are not celebrities—including journalists and privacy researchers—and who were not aware their images had been included. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "Microsoft Removes Face Recognition Photos Amid Privacy Controversy," 7 June 2019 Two belonged to the species Megachile jenseni Friese; the nests’ brood cells, where the eggs are laid, were made from petals and mud. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Found: A Bees’ Nest Built Entirely of Plastic Waste," 7 June 2019 And San Francisco, as cruel as it’s been, belongs to Jimmie Fails. Collier Meyerson, WIRED, "The Last Black Man Searches for ‘Authenticity’ but There Is None," 6 June 2019 Austria The current government is led by Brigitte Bierlein, who does not belong to any party. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "75 years after D-Day, these countries are facing a nationalist resurgence," 6 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'belong.' 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 belong

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for belong

Middle English belongen, from be- be- + longen "to be suitable" — more at long entry 5

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Dictionary Entries near belong






belong to


Statistics for belong

Last Updated

15 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for belong

The first known use of belong was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of belong

used to say that someone or something should be in a particular place or situation
: to be accepted and liked by the other people in a group


be·​long | \ bə-ˈlȯŋ How to pronounce belong (audio) \
belonged; belonging

Kids Definition of belong

1 : to be in a proper place This book belongs on the top shelf.
2 : to be the property of a person or group of persons The money belongs to me.
3 : to be a part of : be connected with : go with These pieces belong to that game.

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More from Merriam-Webster on belong

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with belong

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for belong

Spanish Central: Translation of belong

Nglish: Translation of belong for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of belong for Arabic Speakers

Comments on belong

What made you want to look up belong? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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