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 tothe book belongs to me
b : to be attached or bound by birth, allegiance, or dependency usually used with tothey belong to their homeland
c : to be a member of a club, organization, or set usually used with toshe 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 In February, a panel of judges on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals found the dispute was political in nature and did not belong in a courtroom. Anthony Leonardi, Washington Examiner, "Supreme Court declines to hear Trump emoluments lawsuit from Democrats," 13 Oct. 2020 Skeletons didn’t belong in the corner, her toddler had decided. Washington Post, "This toddler drags a life-size skeleton everywhere he goes. It’s the distraction we need.," 8 Oct. 2020 Unfortunately, the Labor Department doesn’t think these investments belong in your 401(k). Liz Weston, oregonlive, "Liz Weston: It’s not easy being green," 8 Oct. 2020 Unfortunately, the Labor Department doesn’t think these investments belong in your 401(k). Liz Weston, Star Tribune, "Sustainable investing could get a lot harder," 2 Oct. 2020 In Theatre, but in many ways the films belong in the outdoor setting that until this year was kind of the fringe of the cinema experience. John Benson, cleveland, "Cinematheque schedules first Halloween-theme drive-in double feature at Aut-O-Rama in North Ridgeville," 30 Sep. 2020 The fashion world has created a longstanding illusion that fat women simply do not belong in it, and Lizzo's appearance on this cover helps to peel back the curtain. Nicola Dall'asen, Allure, "Lizzo's Vogue Cover Helps Validate Including Fat Women in Fashion," 25 Sep. 2020 But Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Representative Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts argue police do not belong in schools. CBS News, "Should police be in schools? How arrests in Philadelphia's school district dropped by 84% in 5 years," 8 Sep. 2020 And while protests that Confederate flags and monuments do not belong in public spaces have grown stronger since 2015, resistance is not new. Shannon M. Smith, The Conversation, "African Americans have long defied white supremacy and celebrated Black culture in public spaces," 11 Aug. 2020

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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Statistics for belong

Last Updated

18 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Belong.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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How to pronounce belong (audio)

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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