From Middle English bely, beli, bali, below, belew, balyw, from Old English bielġ (“bag, pouch, bulge”), from Proto-West Germanic *balgi, *balgu, from Proto-Germanic *balgiz, *balguz (“skin, hide, bellows, bag”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰelǵʰ- (“to swell, blow up”). Cognate with Dutch balg, German Balg, Danish bælg. Doublet of bellows, blague, bulge, and budge. See also bellows.
belly (plural bellies)
- The abdomen, especially a fat one.
- You've grown a belly over Christmas! Time to join the gym again.
- The stomach.
- My belly was full of wine.
- The womb.
- 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], →OCLC, Jeremiah 1:5:
- Before I formed thee in the bellie, I knew thee; […]
- The lower fuselage of an airplane.
- 1994, Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, Abacus, published 2010, page 454:
- There was no heat, and we shivered in the belly of the plane.
- The part of anything which resembles (either closely or abstractly) the human belly in protuberance or in concavity; often, the fundus (innermost part).
- the belly of a flask, muscle, violin, sail, or ship
- 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], →OCLC, Jonah 2:2:
- […] I cried by reason of mine affliction vnto the Lord, and hee heard mee; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voyce.
- The main curved portion of a knife blade.
- (architecture) The hollow part of a curved or bent timber, the convex part of which is the back.
- Formerly, all the splanchnic or visceral cavities were called bellies: the lower belly being the abdomen; the middle belly, the thorax; and the upper belly, the head.
- Bali belly
- beer belly
- belly bag
- belly band
- belly boat
- belly breathing
- belly buster
- belly button/belly-button
- belly button ring
- belly chain
- belly dance/belly-dance
- belly dancer/belly-dancer
- belly dancing
- belly dumper
- belly flop/bellyflop
- belly flopper
- belly landing
- belly laugh/belly-laugh
- belly of the beast
- belly of the whale
- belly ring
- belly shirt
- belly up to the bar
- belly vengeance
- belly whop
- belly whopper
- blue belly
- Buddha belly
- Buddha belly bamboo
- corona belly
- Delhi belly
- double belly buster
- drum belly
- empathy belly
- fire in one's belly
- fire in the belly
- go belly-up
- jelly belly
- lower than a snake's belly
- pink belly
- plead the belly
- pork belly
- possum belly
- pot belly
- prune belly syndrome
- slow belly
- whip-belly vengeance
- whistle-belly vengeance
- wolf in one's belly
- yellow belly
- Sranan Tongo: bere
abdomen — See also translations at abdomen
stomach — see stomach
the part of anything resembling a belly
belly (third-person singular simple present bellies, present participle bellying, simple past and past participle bellied)
- To position one’s belly; to move on one’s belly.
- 1903 July, Jack London, “The Sounding of the Call”, in The Call of the Wild, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., →OCLC, page 220:
- Bellying forward to the edge of the clearing, he found Hans, lying on his face, feathered with arrows like a porcupine.
- (intransitive) To swell and become protuberant; to bulge or billow.
- 1700, [John] Dryden, “Homer’s Ilias”, in Fables Ancient and Modern; […], London: […] Jacob Tonson, […], →OCLC, book I, page 213:
- The Pow'r appeaſ'd, with Winds ſuffic'd the Sail, / The bellying Canvaſs ſtrutted with the Gale; […]
- 1890, Rudyard Kipling, The Rhyme of the Three Captains:
- The halliards twanged against the tops, the bunting bellied broad,
- 1914, Theodore Roosevelt, chapter 6, in Through the Brazilian Wilderness:
- There were trees whose trunks bellied into huge swellings.
- 1917 rev. 1925 Ezra Pound, "Canto I"
- winds from sternward
- Bore us onward with bellying canvas ...
- 1930, Otis Adelbert Kline, The Prince of Peril, serialized in Argosy, Chapter 1,
- The building stood on a circular foundation, and its walls, instead of mounting skyward in a straight line, bellied outward and then curved in again at the top.
- (transitive) To cause to swell out; to fill.
- c. 1602, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Troylus and Cressida”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene ii]:
- Your breath of full consent bellied his sails; […]
- 1920, Sinclair Lewis, chapter I, in Main Street: The Story of Carol Kennicott, New York, N.Y.: Harcourt, Brace and Howe, →OCLC:
- A breeze which had crossed a thousand miles of wheat-lands bellied her taffeta skirt in a line so graceful, so full of animation and moving beauty, that the heart of a chance watcher on the lower road tightened to wistfulness over her quality of suspended freedom.