Origin: OE. Bali, bely, AS. Belg, baelg, baelig, bag, bellows, belly; akin to Icel. Belgr bag, bellows, Sw. Balg, Dan. Baelg, D. & G. Balg, cf. W. Bol the paunch or belly, dim. Boly, Ir. Bolg. Cf. Bellows, Follicle, Fool, Bilge.

1. That part of the human body which extends downward from the breast to the thighs, and contains the bowels, or intestines; the abdomen.

Formerly all the splanchnic or visceral cavities were called bellies; the lower belly being the abdomen; the middle belly, the thorax; and the upper belly, the head.

2. The under part of the body of animals, corresponding to the human belly. "Underneath the belly of their steeds." (Shak)

3. The womb. "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee." (Jer. I. 5)

4. The part of anything which resembles the human belly in protuberance or in cavity; the innermost part; as, the belly of a flask, muscle, sail, ship. "Out of the belly of hell cried I." (Jonah II. 2)

5. The hollow part of a curved or bent timber, the convex part of which is the back. Belly doublet, a doublet of the 16th century, hanging down so as to cover the belly. Shak. Belly fretting, the chafing of a horse's belly with a girth. Johnson. Belly timber, food. Belly worm, a worm that breeds or lives in the belly (stomach or intestines).

To cause to swell out; to fill. "Your breath of full consent bellied his sails." (Shak)

Origin: Bellied; Bellying.

(01 Mar 1998)

bell stage, bells, whistles, and gongs, bellwort < Prev | Next > bellyache, belly button, belomancy

Bookmark with: icon icon icon icon iconword visualiser Go and visit our forums Community Forums