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

The groups that coined these terms have all made contributions to our language, which in turn belongs to all of us. Alec Dent, National Review, "The Natural Evolution of Language Is Not ‘Cultural Appropriation’," 3 Sep. 2019 In the Cuyahoga Valley, that means the Towpath and all roads, which belong to local communities. Grant Segall,, "Cuyahoga Valley National Park touts e-bikes’ debut in national parks," 3 Sep. 2019 While union membership peaked in 1979 when nearly 21 million were members, the percentage of workers who belonged to unions actually hit a high of 28.3% of all those employed in 1954, according to the Congressional Research Service. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, "Labor Day 2019: A closeup look at the U.S. work force as holiday arrives," 2 Sep. 2019 Every day, in conflicts large and small, the same question gets asked: Who belongs here? San Diego Union-Tribune, "Brit to HOA: ‘The flag is absolutely not coming down’," 1 Sep. 2019 Best unit: Dolphins receivers Preston Williams’ emergence as a playmaker means the Dolphins have seven receivers who belong on an NFL roster. Omar Kelly,, "Kelly: Here’s a look at the Miami Dolphins’ highs and lows from training camp and preseason | Commentary," 1 Sep. 2019 The guilty plea meant that Davis, who belonged to the extremist group League of the South, acknowledged prosecutors had sufficient evidence to convict him if the case had gone to trial. Ian Shapira, Washington Post, "Fourth attacker sentenced in Charlottesville parking garage beating of black man," 27 Aug. 2019 The video shows the aircraft — which belonged to pilot David Lesh who was flying with his friend Kayla, CNN reported Wednesday — falling through the air and landing in the water. Ashley Boucher,, "Plane's Engine Fails and Its Emergency Landing in the Ocean Was Caught on Camera," 21 Aug. 2019 Strauss worked from a German translation by the poet Hedwig Lachmann, who belonged to socialist-anarchist circles in Berlin. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "The Endless, Grisly Fascination of Richard Strauss’s “Salome”," 21 Aug. 2019

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


Statistics for belong

Last Updated

7 Sep 2019

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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 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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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

Comments on belong

What made you want to look up belong? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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