see also: Bellows
  • (America) IPA: /ˈbɛl.oʊz/
  • (America, dialectal) IPA: /ˈbɛl.əs/
  • (British) IPA: /ˈbɛl.əʊz/

bellows (plural bellows)

  1. A device for delivering pressurized air in a controlled quantity to a controlled location. At its most simple terms a bellows is a container which is deformable in such a way as to alter its volume which has an outlet or outlets where one wishes to blow air.
    When wood fires were common, so were bellows for helping start them.
  2. Any flexible container or enclosure, as one used to cover a moving joint.
  3. (informal or archaic) The lungs.
  4. (photography) Flexible, light-tight enclosures connecting the lensboard and the camera back.
  5. (figurative) That which fans the fire of hatred, jealousy, etc.
Related terms Translations Translations Translations Verb

bellows (bellowses, present participle bellowsing; past and past participle bellowsed)

  1. (intransitive, transitive) To operate a bellows; to direct air at (something) using a bellows.
    • 1861, Charles Dickens, Great Expectations, Chapter ,
      […] I was recommended to the place as a man who could give another man as good as he brought, and I took it. It’s easier than bellowsing and hammering.
    • 1915, John G. Neihardt, Cycle of the West, New York: Macmillan, Part 2, p. 34,
      So bellowsed, all the kindled soul of Hugh
      Became a still white hell of brooding ire,
      And through his veins regenerating fire
      Ran, driving out the lethargy of pain.
    • 1920, Arthur Guiterman, “Thunder-Storm” in Ballads of Old New York, New York: Harper & Bros., p. 49,
      The smiths of the heavens are mending the weather;
      Their hammers are beating the fragments together.
      The cumulus mountains with nebulous gorges
      Are dazzled with flame of the wind-bellowsed forges;
    • 1966, Anthony Burgess, Tremor of Intent: An Eschatological Spy Novel, New York: Norton, Part 3, Chapter 6, p. 173,
      He almost let the cigar go out. ‘Good God, no. We’re both exiles, aren’t we?’ He bellowsed the end red again and continued, delicate as a musician, his scoring.
    • 1999, Ferdinand Mount, Jem (and Sam), New York: Carroll & Graf, Chapter 10, p. 397,
      This is a capricious devil, the furnace, though I say it myself, and it wants regular bellowsing.
  2. (intransitive, figuratively) To expand and contract like a bellows.
    • 1904, A. R. Sennett, Across the Great Saint Bernard: The Modes of Nature and the Manners of Man, London: Bemrose & Sons, Chapter 6, p. 389,
      […] [the dogs] sprang up, and, with a grand spraying of the crisp snow as they fleetly clambered up the steep side, they were with us in an incredibly short time, with pink tongues protruding, sides bellowsing, and sterns wagging.
    • 1933, John Steinbeck, The Red Pony, New York: Viking, 1945, Chapter 1, p. 48,
      The pony still lay on his side and the wound in his throat bellowsed in and out.
    • 1978, Stephen King, The Stand, New York: Random House, 2012, Chapter 25, p. 196,
      A sick-looking dog sat in the middle of the road, head down, sides bellowsing, white foam dripping from its muzzle to the heat-shimmering pavement.
    • 1998, Loren D. Estleman, Jitterbug, New York: Tom Doherty Associates, Chapter Six, p. 53,
      The old man laughed without making a sound. His chest bellowsed and he opened his mouth to display a horseshoe of gold molars.
  3. (transitive) To fold up like a bellows; to accordion.
    • 1916, Roger Pocock, Horses, London: John Murray, 2nd edition, 1917, Chapter 6, pp. 170-171,
      Without being tight […] the boot leg should fit close. The ankle should be supple as a stocking, and “bellowsed” to make sure of suppleness.
    • 1986, Will Campbell (Baptist minister), Forty Acres and a Goat, Atlanta: Peachtree, Chapter 9, p. 185,
      […] the chairman of the gathered scholars […] [shushed] the black waiters preparing to feed us a hefty lunch behind the bellowsed dividing wall with the impatient yell, “You’re disturbing our meeting,” while we discussed their plight on our side of the wall.
    • 1994, Timothy West, I’m Here I Think, Where Are You? Letters from a touring actor, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1995, p. 139,
      [The bus] rolled swiftly down the hill and bellowsed five parked cars […]
  1. plural form of bellow
  1. third-person singular form of bellow

Proper noun
  1. plural form of Bellow

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