[bih-lawng, -long]

verb (used without object)

to be in the relation of a member, adherent, inhabitant, etc. (usually followed by to): He belongs to the Knights of Columbus.
to have the proper qualifications, especially social qualifications, to be a member of a group: You don't belong in this club.
to be proper or due; be properly or appropriately placed, situated, etc.: Books belong in every home. This belongs on the shelf. He is a statesman who belongs among the great.

Verb Phrases

belong to,
  1. to be the property of: The book belongs to her.
  2. to be a part or adjunct of: That cover belongs to this jar.

Origin of belong

1300–50; Middle English belongen, equivalent to be- be- + longen to belong, verbal derivative of long (adj.) belonging, Old English gelang along Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for belonged

Contemporary Examples of belonged

Historical Examples of belonged

  • His name was Joseph and he belonged to the tribe of the Hebrews.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • They belonged to the times when 30,000 men were an army, and when campaigns were spent in sieges.

  • I told him I belonged to a man by the name of Potts, and that I was going to his plantation.

    Biography of a Slave

    Charles Thompson

  • Hester knew nothing of the state of either, nor had they ever belonged to her flock.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Kisses were rare in the staid little household to which she belonged.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

British Dictionary definitions for belonged


verb (intr)

(foll by to) to be the property or possession (of)
(foll by to) to be bound to (a person, place, or club) by ties of affection, dependence, allegiance, or membership
(foll by to, under, with, etc) to be classified (with)this plant belongs to the daisy family
(foll by to) to be a part or adjunct (of)this top belongs to the smaller box
to have a proper or usual placethat plate belongs in the cupboard
informal to be suitable or acceptable, esp sociallyalthough they were rich, they just didn't belong

Word Origin for belong

C14 belongen, from be- (intensive) + longen; related to Old High German bilangēn to reach; see long ³
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 belonged



mid-14c., "to go along with, properly relate to," from be- intensive prefix, + longen "to go," from Old English langian "pertain to, to go along with," of unknown origin. Senses of "be the property of" and "be a member of" first recorded late 14c. Cognate with Middle Dutch belanghen, Dutch belangen, German belangen. Replaced earlier Old English gelang, with completive prefix ge-.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with belonged


see to the victor belong the spoils.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.