be·​long | \ bi-ˈlȯŋ, 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

Police said that open alcohol was found in the vehicle, and that the Chevy did not belong to Anderson. Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown, "Orland Park man dies after car found wrecked in ditch, police say," 10 July 2018 In Eastern countries, however, it's believed that someone's intellectual idea belongs to humankind, not one person, because it's believed no one lives in a vacuum. Karen Caffarini, Post-Tribune, "As tariffs begin, Northwest Indiana auto workers and farmers share concerns," 10 July 2018 By testing them at the lab, Abelín and his colleagues would determine that the dinosaur these bones belonged to an animal that had before been seen. Brian Switek, Smithsonian, "The Most Massive of Dinos Evolved Earlier Than Previously Thought," 9 July 2018 The chase began on West Mount Houston around 1:45 a.m. when police found that a license plate on a Ford F-150 actually belonged to an Oldsmobile, said Lt. Samantha Ketterer, Houston Chronicle, "Police chase ends in Crosby after man runs out of gas," 9 July 2018 Which is completely understandable: the owners of multimillion-dollar condos might well want to feel that the expansive green spaces visible from their floor-to-ceiling windows somehow belong to them. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "How Brooklyn Lost Itself," 6 July 2018 The archive is home to dozens of ads that don't belong there, from various schools, towns, brands and people that happen to share names with presidents. Sarah Frier, Anchorage Daily News, "Facebook’s algorithm blocks ads for Bush’s beans, singers named Clinton," 3 July 2018 An increasing number of these users are Dalits or belong to other religious, cultural and gender minorities. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Google’s appearance before Congress will mark a turning point for its CEO," 5 Dec. 2018 The world’s largest display of rare vintage guitars is estimated to be worth more than $200 million and belongs to a group of anonymous collectors. Jennifer Bradley Franklin, Condé Nast Traveler, "3 Best Day Trips from Atlanta," 23 Aug. 2018

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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Statistics for belong

Last Updated

12 Jan 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 \
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

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