Informal. a pain in the abdomen or bowels.

verb (used without object), bel·ly·ached, bel·ly·ach·ing.

Informal. to complain; grumble.

Origin of bellyache

First recorded in 1545–55; belly + ache
Related formsbel·ly·ach·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for bellyache

fuss, groan, gripe, grumble, whine, bemoan, protest, bitch

Examples from the Web for bellyache

Contemporary Examples of bellyache

Historical Examples of bellyache

  • One day when visiting his sick wife I remembered the old story of his bellyache, and wanted to know how it then was.

  • Let 'em find the sugar tub when their ma is to meetin' an' they won't worry 'bout the bellyache till it comes.

  • Dzewaka was at the height of his fame, when, on a certain day, Buddha happened to be troubled with bellyache.

    The Life or Legend of Gaudama

    Right Reverend Paul Ambroise Bigandet

  • "Well, I'm not a nuisance yet with rheumatics and bellyache," observed Lady Crowborough.

    Thorley Weir

    E. F. (Edward Frederic) Benson

  • He is the soothing slumber, he is the soul awake, he is the big cucumber, that gives us the bellyache.

    Rippling Rhymes

    Walt Mason

British Dictionary definitions for bellyache



an informal term for stomachache


(intr) slang to complain repeatedly
Derived Formsbellyacher, noun
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

Word Origin and History for bellyache

also belly-ache, 1590s, from belly (n.) + ache (n.). The verb in the slang sense of "complain" is first recorded 1888, American English; it appears not to have been used earlier than that, if ever, in a literal sense. Related: bellyached; bellyaching.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bellyache in Medicine




Pain in the stomach or abdomen; colic.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.