- a cloth strip with loops or a series of metal links with grips, for holding cartridges fed into an automatic gun.
- a band of leather or webbing, worn around the waist and used as a support for weapons, ammunition, etc.
verb (used with object)
- belsey operation,
- belt bag,
- belt down,
- belt drive,
- belt highway,
- belt line
- to undergo hardship patiently.
- to curtail one's expenditures; be more frugal: They were urged to tighten their belts for the war effort.
- in one's stomach, as food or drink: With a few Scotches under his belt, he's everyone's friend.
- considered as a matter of successful past experience: I don't think our lawyer has enough similar cases under his belt.
Origin of belt
- boxing below the waist, esp in the groin
- informal in an unscrupulous or cowardly way
- (of food or drink) in one's stomach
- in one's possession
- as part of one's experiencehe had a linguistics degree under his belt
Word Origin for belt
early 14c., "to fasten or gird with a belt," from belt (n.). Meaning "to thrash as with a belt" is 1640s; general sense of "to hit, thrash" is attested from 1838. Colloquial meaning "to sing or speak vigorously" is from 1949. Related: Belted; belting. Hence (from the "thrash with a belt" sense) the noun meaning "a blow or stroke" (1899).
Old English belt "belt, girdle," from Proto-Germanic *baltjaz (cf. Old High German balz, Old Norse balti, Swedish bälte), an early Germanic borrowing from Latin balteus "girdle, sword belt," said by Varro to be an Etruscan word.
As a mark of rank or distinction, mid-14c.; references to boxing championship belts date from 1812. Mechanical sense is from 1795. Transferred sense of "broad stripe encircling something" is from 1660s. Below the belt "unfair" (1889) is from pugilism. To get something under (one's) belt is to get it into one's stomach. To tighten (one's) belt "endure privation" is from 1887.
under one's belt
Experienced or achieved, as in Once a medical student has anatomy under her belt, she'll have much less to memorize. This metaphoric expression likens food that has been consumed to an experience that has been digested. [Colloquial; first half of 1800s]
In addition to the idioms beginning with belt
- belt down
- belt out
- below the belt
- bible belt
- sun belt
- tighten one's belt
- under one's belt