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 The navel is a scar tissue resulting from the detachment of the umbilical cord after birth. Melissa Badamo, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Benefits derived from putting essential oils in belly button are questionable," 3 July 2020 But all of this supposedly pro-woman navel gazing is helping to hide the legitimately necessary conversation at hand: Why are all these women so very white? Ariana Romero,, "Stop The Debate About TV’s Messy Women & Start The One About Who Gets To Play Them," 4 June 2020 Pull your navel in towards your spine, and breathe here for 10 seconds. Stephanie Mansour, NBC News, "A 30-day workout to tone and strengthen your core," 2 Apr. 2020 Such key elements of Lopez's dress are its leaf bamboo print; flowing sleeves; neckline that plunges to her belly button; high slit; and circular brooch at the navel. Lindsay Weinberg, Billboard, "Versace Sues Fashion Nova Over Iconic Jennifer Lopez Dress Knockoff," 26 Nov. 2019 Though this freakout is more comic than the last, Humans cares sincerely about its protagonists' navel-gazing earnestness, accepting the validity of their quest despite the nuttiness of the results. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Fully Realized Humans': Film Review | Tribeca 2020," 23 Apr. 2020 Half of the 17-foot-tall statute of Chief Tomochichi, the Native American whose tribe lent vital help to Georgia’s English colonists, is cast in bronze from bare toes to navel in an Athens artist’s studio. Christopher Quinn, ajc, "Atlanta peace park to open with missing pieces," 4 Apr. 2020 The hues represented different citrus varieties: navel, hamlin, satsuma, and so on. Duncan Strauss,, "Dogs are helping save Florida’s citrus groves from a devastating disease," 18 Jan. 2020 In kindergarten, my son, Sawyer, learned the proper names for body parts, that belly buttons were navels, boys had penises and girls had vulvas. Karina Bland, azcentral, "Kids learn about sex before seventh grade. We should help them get it right," 14 Jan. 2020

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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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

11 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Navel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for navel


How to pronounce navel (audio)

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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