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 Laundrie has been charged with using two financial accounts that did not belong to him between August 30 and September 1. Amir Vera, CNN, 2 Oct. 2021 But humanity tries anyway, arrogating to itself a power that doesn’t belong to it. Anthony Domestico, The Atlantic, 12 Sep. 2021 WhatsApp users can back up their data and store it on clouds that don’t belong to Facebook. Chris Smith, BGR, 10 Sep. 2021 No Way Home is bringing together Marvel characters that don't even belong in the Marvel Cinematic Universe of Disney's Avengers, but the film still won't be returning the Defenders of Hell's Kitchen. Nick Romano,, 2 Sep. 2021 There’s stuff in the game that doesn’t belong in the game., 14 July 2021 Canons define a tradition, a culture, a civilization by excluding things that don’t belong to it. Louis Menand, The New Yorker, 31 May 2021 Human remains believed to belong to a Florida woman reported missing after her fiancé returned home from a monthslong van trip without her were found in a national park in Wyoming on Sunday, the F.B.I. said at a news conference. New York Times, 19 Sep. 2021 Many workers value their freedom to choose whether to belong to a union or not and will resent that being taken away. . . . Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 10 Sep. 2021

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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Time Traveler for belong

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

7 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Belong.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on belong

Nglish: Translation of belong for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of belong for Arabic Speakers


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