na·​vel | \ ˈnā-vəl How to pronounce navel (audio) \

Definition of navel

1 : a depression in the middle of the abdomen that marks the point of former attachment of the umbilical cord or yolk stalk
2 : the central point : middle In Delphi's golden age, when the ancients held it to be the navel of the world— Henry Kamm

Examples of navel in a Sentence

a city that likes to regard itself as the nation's navel of art and culture
Recent Examples on the Web Lots of citrus are ready to harvest and eat now, including limes, kumquats, mandarins, grapefruits, lemons, tangelos and navel oranges. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Feb. 2022 Cooke wears a blazer and a tie; Buss frayed jeans and a shirt open to the navel. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 7 Mar. 2022 For example, spray your chest, navel, and shoulder blades on date night. The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Apr. 2022 Murphy has the jacket unzipped to his navel, inviting you to take in the chained medallion that decorates his hairless chest. New York Times, 19 Apr. 2022 Note that mindfulness is not the same thing as navel-gazing. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, 19 May 2022 Follow suit this spring and consider loading up on a few navel-skimming crop tops to maximize your wardrobe. Eni Subair, Vogue, 13 May 2022 The first one on the new menu is a toro steak, which comes from the beef belly, or navel. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 28 Apr. 2022 Some viewers were scandalized when Ms. Mimieux appeared on-screen wearing a two-piece bathing suit that revealed her navel. Washington Post, 20 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'navel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of navel

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for navel

Middle English, from Old English nafela; akin to Old High German nabalo navel, Latin umbilicus, Greek omphalos

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Time Traveler for navel

Time Traveler

The first known use of navel was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near navel

nave arcade



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Statistics for navel

Last Updated

5 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Navel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for navel


na·​vel | \ ˈnā-vəl How to pronounce navel (audio) \

Kids Definition of navel

: a hollow or bump in the middle of the stomach that marks the place where the umbilical cord was attached


na·​vel | \ ˈnā-vəl How to pronounce navel (audio) \

Medical Definition of navel

: a depression in the middle of the abdomen that marks the point of former attachment of the umbilical cord to the embryo

called also umbilicus

More from Merriam-Webster on navel

Nglish: Translation of navel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of navel for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about navel


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