Definition of belly-up in English:

belly-up

adverb

  • 1In or into a position with the belly or underside facing upwards; specifically (especially of a fish) in or into this position as the result of dying.

  • 2figurative US
    informal Figurativeinformal (originally US). In or into a situation of having failed (especially financially), died, finished, or become defunct. Especially in to go belly-up.

Origin

Mid 18th century; earliest use found in William Douglass (?1691–1752). From belly + up.

Pronunciation

belly-up

/ˌbɛlɪˈʌp/