Pronunciation Noun

belly (plural bellies)

  1. The abdomen, especially a fat one.
  2. The stomach.
  3. The womb.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Jeremiah 1:5 ↗:
      Before I formed thee in the bellie, I knew thee; I cried by reason of mine affliction vnto the Lord, and hee heard mee; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voyce.
  4. (architecture) The hollow part of a curved or bent timber, the convex part of which is the back.
Translations Verb

belly (bellies, present participle bellying; past and past participle bellied)

  1. To position one’s belly; to move on one’s belly.
    • 1903, Jack London, The Call of the Wild, Chapter 7,
      Bellying forward to the edge of the clearing, he found Hans, lying on his face, feathered with arrows like a porcupine.
  2. (intransitive) To swell and become protuberant; to bulge or billow.
    • 1700, [John] Dryden, “Homer’s Ilias”, in Fables Ancient and Modern; […], London: Printed for 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,”
      The halliards twanged against the tops, the bunting bellied broad,
    • 1914, Theodore Roosevelt, Through the Brazilian Wilderness, Chapter 6,
      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,
      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.
    • c. 1601, William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, Act II, Scene 2,
      Your breath of full consent bellied his sails;
    • 1920, Sinclair Lewis, Main Street, Chapter I, I,
      A breeze which had crossed a thousand miles of wheat-lands bellied her taffeta skirt in a line so graceful, so full of animation and moving beauty, that the heart of a chance watcher on the lower road tightened to wistfulness over her quality of suspended freedom.

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