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Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English belonginge, belanging, belangand, equivalent to belong +‎ -ing.



  1. present participle of belong

Etymology 2Edit

From belong +‎ -ing.


belonging (countable and uncountable, plural belongings)

  1. (uncountable) The feeling that one belongs.
    I have a feeling of belonging in London.
    A need for belonging seems fundamental to humans.
  2. (countable, chiefly in the plural) Something physical that is owned.
    Make sure you take all your belongings when you leave.
    • c. 1604, William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act I, Scene 1,[1]
      [] Thyself and thy belongings
      Are not thine own so proper as to waste
      Thyself upon thy virtues, they on thee.
    • 1939, John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath, New York: Compass, 1958, Chapter 9, p. 117,[2]
      In the little houses the tenant people sifted their belongings and the belongings of their fathers and of their grandfathers. Picked over their possessions for the journey to the west.
    • 1966, Truman Capote, In Cold Blood, New York: Modern Library, 1992, Part I, p. 22,[3]
      Now, upstairs, she changed into faded Levis and a green sweater, and fastened round her wrist her third most valued belonging, a gold watch []
  3. (plural only, colloquial, dated) family; relations; household.
    • 1854, William Makepeace Thackeray, The Newcomes, London: Bradbury & Evans, Chapter 33, p. 322,[4]
      When Lady Kew said Sic volo, sic jubeo [Thus I will, thus I command], I promise you few persons of her ladyship’s belongings stopped, before they did her biddings, to ask her reasons.
    • 1896, Joseph Conrad, An Outcast of the Islands, Part II, Chapter Three,[5]
      As soon as the principal personages were seated, the verandah of the house was filled silently by the muffled-up forms of Lakamba’s female belongings.