English edit

The belly of a pregnant woman.

Etymology edit

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, Old Irish bolg, Welsh bol. Doublet of bellows, blague, bulge, and budge. See also bellows.

Pronunciation edit

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

Noun edit

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.
  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 notes edit

  • 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 terms edit

Descendants edit

  • Sranan Tongo: bere

Translations edit

See also edit

Verb edit

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, 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, chapter 6, in Through the Brazilian Wilderness[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 terms edit