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

Why Corn Is a Grain The plants that produce these special fruit-seed combos all belong to the same family of cereal grasses: Poaceae. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Is Corn a Grain, Vegetable, or Fruit? The Answer Is D, All of the Above," 7 Dec. 2018 Only Heist, who has ties to both gangs and as such belongs to neither, can be trusted to behave with humanity. Constance Grady, Vox, "Jonathan Lethem’s Feral Detective is a mess. But it’s a fun mess.," 27 Nov. 2018 The car, the crew, and lots of boxes of stuff will have to be shipped there from the team's Bristol, UK headquarters, so the site can't be too remote or belong to people who don't want them there. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Bloodhound SSC: How do you build a car capable of 1,000mph?," 24 Nov. 2018 The creature, given the scientific name Lisowicia bojani, belongs to the dicynodonts, which were some of the first large herbivores. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "An Elephant-Size Mammal Relative Roamed Among Dinosaurs," 22 Nov. 2018 This whole notion of lowering the bar of what belongs online. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Taking a page from YouTube, Snap VP Nick Bell wants to find the next generation of media stars," 25 Oct. 2018 The home belongs to one of the founders of Phare Ponleu Selpak, a nonprofit with a visual and performing arts school, including a circus made up of kids who might otherwise be on the street. Rebecca Misner, Condé Nast Traveler, "Going Deeper in Cambodia," 19 Nov. 2018 That business has largely belonged to sibling animation studio Pixar. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Ralph Breaks the Internet is The Lego Movie of Disney films," 14 Nov. 2018 The jewel of the Haute-Savoie, Annecy sits at the tip of an aquamarine lake of the same name, which might belong on the Côte d’Azur if not for the rising mountains on both sides. Elizabeth Wellington, Vogue, "Exploring Annecy, the Venice of the French Alps," 7 Nov. 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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Last Updated

14 Dec 2018

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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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