noun, plural bel·lies.
verb (used with object), bel·lied, bel·ly·ing.
verb (used without object), bel·lied, bel·ly·ing.
- to approach closely, especially until one is in physical contact: to belly up to a bar.
- to curry favor from: Would you have gotten the promotion if you hadn't bellied up to the boss?
- bells and whistles,
- bells of ireland,
- belly bust,
- belly button,
- belly dance,
- belly dancer,
- belly flop
Origin of belly
Examples from the Web for belly
She attends hip-hop and belly dance classes (known as Arabic dance in Iran) just to shine more at parties.Iran’s Becoming a Footloose Nation as Dance Lessons Spread|IranWire|January 2, 2015|DAILY BEAST
He holds them on his belly and looks at them with a magnifying glass, studying possible escape routes.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days|David Freeman|December 13, 2014|DAILY BEAST
All you could see was the area from her belly button to her knees.Will the Vatican Finally Hold This Kansas City Bishop Accountable?|Barbie Latza Nadeau|October 2, 2014|DAILY BEAST
A major surgery requiring plastic mesh sewn into her belly saved her life.
When you crush an insect, you have all these long worms uncoiling from the belly.Vampires without Glitter or Girl Problems: Inside Guillermo del Toro’s ‘The Strain’|Andrew Romano|July 14, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Metrodorus said, “That he had learnt Ἀληθως γαστρὶ χαρίζεσθαι, to give his belly just thanks for all his pleasures.”Essays|Abraham Cowley
Above dark brown; throat and belly whitish; breast and sides brown.Color Key to North American Birds|Frank M. Chapman
The rope is now drawn through the ring until it forms a tight loop, encircling the belly just in front of the hind limbs.Special Report on Diseases of Cattle|U.S. Department of Agriculture
The piano in Bezuquet's shop mouldered away under a green fungus, and the Spanish flies dried upon it, belly up.Tartarin of Tarascon|Alphonse Daudet
I dipped under the horse's belly, and got on the opposite side from him.The Book of Enterprise and Adventure|Anonymous
noun plural -lies
verb -lies, -lying or -lied
Word Origin for belly
Old English belg, bylg (West Saxon), bælg (Anglian) "leather bag, purse, bellows," from Proto-Germanic *balgiz "bag" (cf. Old Norse belgr "bag, bellows," bylgja "billow," Gothic balgs "wineskin"), from PIE *bholgh-, from root *bhelgh- "to swell," an extension of *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell" (see bole). Meaning shifted to "body" (late 13c.), then focused to "abdomen" (mid-14c.). Meaning "bulging part or concave surface of anything" is 1590s. The West Germanic root had a figurative or extended sense of "anger, arrogance" (cf. Old English bolgenmod "enraged;" belgan (v.) "to become angry").
Indo-European languages commonly use the same word for both the external belly and the internal (stomach, womb, etc.), but the distinction of external and internal is somewhat present in English belly/stomach; Greek gastr- (see gastric) in classical language denoted the paunch or belly, while modern science uses it only in reference to the stomach as an organ. Fastidious avoidance of belly in speech and writing (compensated for by stretching the senses of imported stomach and abdomen, baby-talk tummy and misappropriated midriff) began late 18c. and the word was banished from Bibles in many early 19c. editions. Belly punch (n.) is attested from 1811.
"to swell out," 1620s, from belly (n.). Related: Bellied; bellying. Old English belgan meant "to be or become angry" (a figurative sense). A comparable Greek verb-from-noun, gastrizein, meant "to hit (someone) in the belly."
see go belly up.