be·​long·​ing | \ bi-ˈlȯŋ-iŋ How to pronounce belonging (audio) , bē-\

Definition of belonging

1 : possession usually used in plural
2 : close or intimate relationship a sense of belonging

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Other Words from belonging

belongingness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for belonging


chumminess, closeness, familiarity, inseparability, intimacy, nearness



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Examples of belonging in a Sentence

her adoptive family gave the young girl a sense of belonging that she had never felt before packed up all their belongings and moved across the country

Recent Examples on the Web

In June 2018, a video showed a white jogger dismantling a black homeless man’s encampment, tossing some of the man’s belongings into Lake Merritt. Otis R. Taylor Jr.,, "Calling police on black people over petty matters: There’s a reason these videos go viral," 11 July 2019 As the narrative unfolds, readers discover that Unclaimed Baggage is the perfect place for not only unpacking other people’s belongings, but the characters’ emotions as well. Sarah Cook,, "Birmingham magazine’s culture picks for June," 28 June 2019 In recent testimony, one teenage girl described having all of her family’s belongings taken, including baby clothing and bottles, and being denied soap, showers, and toothbrushes for days. Heather Timmons, Quartz, "Evangelical Christians call on Trump to fix inhumane border conditions in Jesus’s name," 27 June 2019 That same year, a transgender person’s belongings were vandalized inside the person’s workplace with an anti-LGBTQ slur. Samantha Schmidt, Washington Post, "Transgender deaths draw attention to lack of LGBTQ resources in Prince George’s," 22 June 2019 Asking people about their drug use is entirely at the discretion of a border agent, and if someone lies or is unwilling to answer, agents are allowed to search a person’s belongings for evidence of past drug use, including their cell phone. Fox News, "Canadians could be banned from the US forever if they smoke legal pot," 21 Sep. 2018 The attackers took the man’s belongings and ran away south on Wabash. Chicago Tribune Staff,, "Man, 22, injured during robbery near Loyola's Gold Coast campus," 5 July 2018 As her daughter Tristan lay brain-dead, Tammy Hackman frantically searched her oldest child’s belongings for a driver’s license. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "The opioid crisis ‘silver lining’: A heroin overdose that killed 1 mom, saved 4 lives," 19 Apr. 2018 In those cases, the city must maintain any of the homeless person’s personal belongings found at the camp in a safe and secure location for at least a month. Justin Sayers, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville will resume kicking out homeless people from camps, but with rules this time," 9 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'belonging.' 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 belonging

1781, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near belonging





belong to



Statistics for belonging

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for belonging

The first known use of belonging was in 1781

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