- the lower front part of the human body between the chest and thighs; abdomen
- the underside of an animal's body
- the abdominal cavity
- the stomach
- an appetite for food
- the deep interior: the belly of a ship
- any part, surface, or section that curves outward or bulges, as the swelling part of a sail in the wind, the fleshy middle part of a muscle, or the upper surface of a violin
- the front part or underside of anything
- Archaic the womb
Origin of bellyMiddle English beli from Old English belg, leather bag, purse, bellows from Indo-European base an unverified form bhel?h-, to swell, bag ( from an unverified form bhel-, to inflate) from source Irish bolg, sack, belly, Old Norse bylgja, billow, Gothic balgs, leather bottle
intransitive verb-·lied, -·ly·ing
go belly upSlang
- to die: said as of a fish
- to fail; often, specif., to become bankrupt
Origin of bellyfrom the way in which a dead fish floats in the water
- See abdomen.
- The underside of the body of certain vertebrate animals, such as a snake.
- A cut of meat from the underside of an animal, especially a pig.
- Informal a. The stomach.b. An appetite for food.
- The womb; the uterus.
- a. A part that bulges or protrudes: the belly of a sail.b. Anatomy The bulging, central part of a muscle.
- A deep or central interior space: the engine in the belly of a ship; fish down in the belly of a river.
intr. & tr.v.bel·lied, bel·ly·ing, bel·lies
Origin of bellyMiddle English beli from Old English belg bag ; see bhelgh- in Indo-European roots.
- The abdomen.
- The stomach, especially a fat one.
- The womb.
- The lower fuselage of an airplane.
- The part of anything which resembles the human belly in protuberance or in cavity; the innermost part.
- the belly of a flask, muscle, sail, or ship
- (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.
(third-person singular simple present bellies, present participle bellying, simple past and past participle bellied)
From Old English bælġ. Probably originally from Proto-Indo-European *bhle- (“to swell, blow up”)