na·​vel | \ ˈnā-vəl \

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

Keeping your navel pulled into your spine, and your hips squared and toes pointed, extend one leg forward and the other back, so each is pointing towards opposite sides of the room. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "This Body-Sculpting Workout Is Top-Model-Approved—And Ready for the Holidays," 20 Nov. 2018 Telford now has spasms, difficulty with balance and neurological dysfunction below his navel, Sandberg said. Heidi Groover, The Seattle Times, "King County to pay former jail inmate $1M for spinal-cord injury untreated for 10 days," 6 Oct. 2018 Lebanese cool girl and filmmaker Pam Nasr walked the show and looked quite stellar in a pair of the dark blue jeans and a buttoned-to-the-navel black shirt. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Barragán Turns a New York Department Store Into a Cool-Kid Runway," 15 Sep. 2018 Think of a string lifting the top of your head to the sky as your navel presses in and up towards your spine. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "This Body-Sculpting Workout Is Top-Model-Approved—And Ready for the Holidays," 20 Nov. 2018 There's more value to this exercise than just navel-gazing: examining iOS 12 can help reveal whether the iPhone and iPad will be there for you not just now, but in a few years. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "iOS 12, thoroughly reviewed," 17 Sep. 2018 The combination of maintained land and untamed wilderness is pivotal to all that deep reflection and navel-gazing college students are so good at. Condé Nast Traveler, "The 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America," 6 Aug. 2018 Google and its hyper-political employees stand out for seeming to spend a remarkable amount of time navel-gazing and composing codes of conduct. The Editorial Page, WSJ, "Don’t Be Naive, Google," 2 Aug. 2018 So keep cool and carry on by clicking through more navel-grazing beauty moments above. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian West and More Show Off Their Crop Top-Ready Abs," 29 July 2018

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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Statistics for navel

Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for navel

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

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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 \

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 \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on navel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for navel

Spanish Central: Translation of navel

Nglish: Translation of navel for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on navel

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