belly /ˈbɛli/


I. noun

1. the front part of the human trunk below the ribs, containing the stomach and bowels.

his fat belly stuck out over his trousers.
2. the stomach, especially as representing the body’s need for food

they’ll fight all the better on empty bellies.
3. the underside of a bird or other animal.

grasses were said to have been tall enough to brush the bellies of horses.
4. (also belly pork) [ mass noun] a cut of pork from the underside between the legs.
5. a pig’s belly as food, especially as a traded commodity.
6. the rounded underside of a ship or aircraft.
7. the top surface of an instrument of the violin family, over which the strings are placed.
II. verb

1. swell or cause to swell

[no obj.]

as she leaned forward her pullover bellied out

[with obj.]
the wind bellied the sail out.
2. [no obj.] ( belly up to)
(N. Amer.)
‹informal› move or sit close to (a bar or table).

regulars who first bellied up to the bar years before.
III. phrases

go belly up

‹informal› go bankrupt.

the company was about to go belly up.
IV. derivatives

bellied /ˈbɛlid /

[in combination]

fat-bellied men
– origin Old English belig ‘bag’, of Germanic origin, from a base meaning ‘swell, be inflated’.

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