EnglishEdit

 
The belly of a pregnant woman.

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English bely, beli, bali, below, belew, balyw, from Old English belg, bælg, bæliġ (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.

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): /ˈbɛli/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛli
  • Hyphenation: bel‧ly

NounEdit

belly (plural bellies)

  1. The abdomen, especially a fat one.
    You've grown a belly over Christmas! Time to join the gym again.
  2. The stomach.
    My belly was full of wine.
  3. The womb.
  4. The lower fuselage of an airplane.
    • 1994, Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, Abacus 2010, p. 454:
      There was no heat, and we shivered in the belly of the plane.
  5. 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
    1. The main curved portion of a knife blade.
    2. (architecture) The hollow part of a curved or bent timber, the convex part of which is the back.

Usage notesEdit

  • 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.

Derived termsEdit

DescendantsEdit

  • Sranan Tongo: bere

TranslationsEdit

See alsoEdit

VerbEdit

belly (third-person singular simple present bellies, present participle bellying, simple past and past participle bellied)

  1. To position one’s belly; to move on one’s belly.
  2. (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 228732415, 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,”[1]
      The halliards twanged against the tops, the bunting bellied broad,
    • 1914, Theodore Roosevelt, Through the Brazilian Wilderness, Chapter 6,[2]
      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,[3]
      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.
  3. (transitive) To cause to swell out; to fill.

Derived termsEdit