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


appertain, pertain

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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

One of those servers belonged to Alfa Bank in Moscow and the other to the Trump Organization. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart — Or His Handler?," 8 July 2018 The pact covers the government forces, troops belonging to Machar’s Sudan’s People Liberation Movement In Opposition and other rebel groups in the country with sub-Saharan Africa’s third-biggest crude reserves. Okech Francis,, "South Sudan’s Warring Sides Agree to Cease-Fire in New Peace Bid," 28 June 2018 Once belonging to a wealthy jute baron, the building is one of the area’s last remaining intact mansion houses. Todd Plummer, Vogue, "A Guide to Dundee, Scotland—the First City Outside London to Get Its Very Own V&A Museum," 14 July 2018 At the scene of the crash on Tuesday night, Thomas Moore, 50, said the minivan belonged to his 27-year-old son. Benjamin Mueller, New York Times, "Man Is Killed by Stolen Minivan After Gunfire Near Courthouse," 10 July 2018 Some of the accounts belong to political parties and nongovernmental organizations, the task force said. Yantoultra Ngui, WSJ, "Malaysia’s 1MDB Task Force Freezes $270 Million in Bank Accounts," 2 July 2018 Police said the rifle belonged to a teammate and that Hilinski took it without the teammate's knowledge on or before Jan. 12. CBS News, "Tyler Hilinski, Washington State football player, had brain damage at time of suicide," 26 June 2018 Brown belonged to the Centerville Bloods and was feuding with Amir Dixon, a member of the Hoover Crips, authorities said. Robert Moran,, "Jury convicts man in fatal shooting of 8-year-old Camden girl," 21 June 2018 The missing gun belonged to an employee of a security company, police said at the time. The Aegis, "Bel Air Police searching for those who broke into vehicles, stole loaded handgun," 14 June 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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Dictionary Entries near belong






belong to


Phrases Related to belong

belong to

Statistics for belong

Last Updated

5 Oct 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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Comments on belong

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a generally accepted meaning of a word

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