navel

[ ney-vuh l ]
/ ˈneɪ vəl /

noun

the central point or middle of any thing or place.
Heraldry. nombril.

Origin of navel

before 900; Middle English; Old English nafela; cognate with Dutch navel, German Nabel, Old Norse nafli; akin to Sanskrit nābhīla, Latin umbilīcus, Greek omphalós
Can be confusednaval navel
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for navel

British Dictionary definitions for navel

navel

/ (ˈneɪvəl) /

noun

the scar in the centre of the abdomen, usually forming a slight depression, where the umbilical cord was attachedTechnical name: umbilicus Related adjective: umbilical
a central part, location, or point; middle
short for navel orange

Word Origin for navel

Old English nafela; related to Old Frisian navla, Old High German nabulo (German Nabel), Latin umbilīcus
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 navel

navel


n.

Old English nafela, nabula, from Proto-Germanic *nabalan (cf. Old Norse nafli, Danish and Swedish navle, Old Frisian navla, Middle Dutch and Dutch navel, Old High German nabalo, German Nabel), from PIE *(o)nobh- "navel" (cf. Sanskrit nabhila "navel, nave, relationship;" Avestan nafa "navel," naba-nazdishta "next of kin;" Persian naf; Latin umbilicus "navel;" Old Prussian nabis "navel;" Greek omphalos; Old Irish imbliu). For Romanic words, see umbilicus.

"Navel" words from other roots include Lithuanian bamba, Sanskrit bimba- (also "disk, sphere"), Greek bembix, literally "whirlpool." Old Church Slavonic papuku, Lithuanian pumpuras are originally "bud." Considered a feminine sexual center since ancient times, and still in parts of the Middle East, India, and Japan. In medieval Europe, it was averred that "[t]he seat of wantonness in women is the navel." [Cambridge bestiary, C.U.L. ii.4.26] Words for it in most languages have a secondary sense of "center." Meaning "center or hub of a country" is attested in English from late 14c. To contemplate (one's) navel "meditate" is from 1933; hence navel-gazer (1952); cf. omphaloskepsis. Navel orange attested from 1888.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for navel

navel

[ nāvəl ]

n.

The mark on the surface of the abdomen that indicates where the umbilical cord was attached to the fetus during gestation.bellybutton umbilicus
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.