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[pot-bel-ee] /ˈpɒtˌbɛl i/
noun, plural potbellies.
a distended or protuberant belly.
Origin of potbelly
First recorded in 1705-15; pot1 + belly
Related forms
potbellied, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pot-bellied
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He had considered himself a pot-bellied, slightly balding saint.

    Watchbird Robert Sheckley
  • But the Rector, pot-bellied numskull that he was, would not listen to reason!

    Mayflower (Flor de mayo) Vicente Blasco Ibez
  • A pot-bellied Man, with a pack at his back, and a pouch by his side.

  • Of course I could see that she was pot-bellied, like the rest of the coastwise sisterhood.

  • This "pot-bellied god" has his body crowned with an elephant head!

  • That pot-bellied little fellow in the checked suit is Selfridge.

    The Yukon Trail

    William MacLeod Raine
  • But we have been betrayed by a pot-bellied, humpbacked, and crabbed dwarf.

    Four Arthurian Romances Chretien DeTroyes
  • Opposite the door stood a rusty, pot-bellied stove which gave forth a heat that seemed rather superfluous on such a warm evening.

    Shoe-Bar Stratton

    Joseph Bushnell Ames
  • In the middle of the yard stood a pot-bellied brown gelding with closed eyes and thoughtfully pendent head.

    A Russian Proprietor Lyof N. Tolstoi
British Dictionary definitions for pot-bellied


noun (pl) -lies
a protruding or distended belly
a person having such a belly
(US & Canadian) a small bulbous stove in which wood or coal is burned
Derived Forms
potbellied, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pot-bellied

also potbellied, 1650s, from pot (n.1) + bellied. As a type of stove from 1973.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pot-bellied in Medicine

potbelly pot·bel·ly (pŏt'běl'ē)
A protruding abdominal region.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for pot-bellied



  1. A protuberant belly; paunch; beer belly, pot
  2. A person with a potbelly, esp a man (first form 1714+, second 1909+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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