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

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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 Controlling the only sea link between north and south at the strategic navel of the world, especially without treaty limitations, gives him massive geo-strategic leverage. Melik Kaylan, Forbes, 17 May 2021 Deborah becomes a kind of hard-nosed mentor to Ava, pushing her to look up from her navel., 17 May 2021 His date, in one of those tacky jersey dresses cut to the navel, tossed her black hair and laughingly cajoled Pierre to take a selfie. Ew Staff,, 27 Apr. 2021 To engage your core, think about drawing your navel to your spine. Jen Murphy, WSJ, 8 May 2021 And the problem is President Xi Jinping, President Biden's counterpart in China, isn't sitting idly by while the administration conducts that kind of thought process or or navel gazing. CBS News, 28 Apr. 2021 The midsize city is the economic hub of Tulare County—by sales, one of the largest growers among all U.S. counties, known for its navel oranges, beef, dairy and almonds. Jennifer Levitz, WSJ, 23 Apr. 2021 Set to premiere April 22, Rutherford Falls follows Helms as Nathan Rutherford, the steward to the family legacy in a small town in upstate New York who is riding high on his own navel-gazing supply. Omar Sanchez,, 16 Mar. 2021 No shirtless photos, or photos that show any area below your navel. Los Angeles Times, 15 Mar. 2021

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.

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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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Learn More about navel

Time Traveler for navel

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for navel

Last Updated

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Navel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for navel



English Language Learners Definition of navel

: the small, hollow or raised area in the middle of your stomach


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


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