belong

verb

be·​long bi-ˈlȯŋ How to pronounce belong (audio)
bē-
belonged; belonging; belongs

intransitive verb

1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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

Example Sentences

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 Under federal law, service charges belong to the restaurant and may be retained solely by the restaurant or distributed to employees in any amount of the restaurant’s choosing, according to Dallas restaurant and hospitality attorney Ty Sheaks. Dallas News, 24 Jan. 2023 The past winners now belong to Trader Joe's new Hall of Fame lineup. Tracey Harrington Mccoy, Peoplemag, 23 Jan. 2023 The aforementioned scrunchies belong to Gabby, played with vivacious confidence by Williams. Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, 23 Jan. 2023 These spiky blooms belong at the back of your border in full sun. Terri Robertson, Country Living, 18 Jan. 2023 The accounts belong to a digital influencer, a YouTuber recently elected federal lawmaker, a podcast host in the mold of Joe Rogan, and an evangelical pastor and senator-elect, among others. David Biller And Carla Bridi, The Christian Science Monitor, 15 Jan. 2023 The accounts belong to a digital influencer, a YouTuber recently elected federal lawmaker, a podcast host in the mold of Joe Rogan, and an evangelical pastor and senator-elect, among others. David Biller And Carla Bridi, Anchorage Daily News, 14 Jan. 2023 The accounts belong to a digital influencer, a YouTuber recently elected federal lawmaker, a podcast host in the mold of Joe Rogan, and an evangelical pastor and senator-elect, among others. David Biller, BostonGlobe.com, 14 Jan. 2023 The BIDs also belong to the DC BID Council, a trade association. Fredrick Kunkle, Washington Post, 12 Jan. 2023 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English belongen, from be- be- + longen "to be suitable" — more at long entry 5

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near belong

Cite this Entry

“Belong.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/belong. Accessed 29 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

belong

verb
be·​long bi-ˈlȯŋ How to pronounce belong (audio)
1
: to be in a proper place
this book belongs on the top shelf
2
a
: to be the property of a person or group of persons
the watch belongs to me
b
: to be a member
belongs to our club
3
: to be a part of : be connected with : go with
the parts belonging to the clock
4
: to be classified
whales belong among the mammals

More from Merriam-Webster on belong

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY