noun

  • 1A rounded knotty depression in the centre of a person's belly caused by the detachment of the umbilical cord after birth; the umbilicus.

    • ‘Claude smiled lazily and stretched, showing off her tiny ruby navel ring.’
    • ‘Her size two trousers hang about her hips, exposing a navel ring.’
    • ‘Symptoms include a gnawing or burning sensation in the abdomen between the navel and the sternum.’
    • ‘Put the palm of your right hand on the abdomen, just above the navel, and press up against the solar plexus or pit of the stomach.’
    • ‘She has already pierced her nose, her ears, her navel and now, her tongue.’
    • ‘Soo Lin's shirt was tight and small and showed her bare navel, which had the ring in it.’
    • ‘The child may have low back pain, stomach pain below the navel, or a long-lasting fever.’
    • ‘If the patient wears a navel ring, she is asked to remove it.’
    • ‘Abdominal examination revealed a large scar from the navel downwards.’
    • ‘A jewel sparkled from her pierced navel and her jeans rode low on her hips.’
    • ‘The dead man has a Batman tattoo and a pierced navel.’
    • ‘For two years I had occasional pain in the abdomen especially around the navel for short durations.’
    • ‘Her slender waist was now bare exposing the deep navel.’
    • ‘Exhale as you contract your abdominal muscles, pulling your navel toward your spine.’
    • ‘Tighten your abs by pulling your navel toward your spine and lean to the right.’
    • ‘An umbilical hernia occurs when part of the intestine protrudes through a weakness in the abdominal wall at the navel.’
    • ‘Can you feel the breath radiating life energy from your navel into your arms, legs and head?’
    • ‘Pain below the navel that spreads to either side may signify a colon disorder.’
    • ‘She also had her navel pierced but she didn't show it off so much.’
    belly button, tummy button
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    1. 1.1 The central point of a place.
      ‘the Incas saw Cuzco as the navel of the world’
      • ‘Such men must be honoured and respected, lest chaos engulf the navel of the world yet again.’
      • ‘Delphi was no longer the navel of the Greek world, acknowledged point of reference for the competing states.’
      • ‘They named the place Cuzco, " the navel of the world, " and the Inca nation was born.’
      centre, central point, middle, midpoint, hub, nub, focal point, focus, pivot, nucleus, heart, core, eye
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Phrases

  • contemplate one's navel

    • Spend time complacently considering oneself or one's interests at the expense of a wider view.

      ‘the Post Office cannot stop the world while the unions contemplate their navels’
      • ‘I dreamt of spending days lounging in the sun and contemplating my navel.’
      • ‘Self-consciousness is not simply a consciousness contemplating its own navel.’
      • ‘He came from High Times magazine, where he sat around and played video games and contemplated his navel.’
      • ‘When I was growing up, my mother used to say, ‘You have to take time to contemplate your navel.’’
      • ‘This is a famous soup from the Fujian Province, whose aroma was said to be so alluring that a meditating monk would abandon contemplating his navel and jump over the wall to indulge!’
      • ‘The yogi contemplating his navel often figures for Westerners as an object of amusement, being taken as a symptom of indolence or narcissistic self-absorption.’
      • ‘Of course, this sort of hindsight is only slightly worse than spending your time contemplating your navel.’

Origin

Old English nafela, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch navel and German Nabel, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin umbo ‘boss of a shield’, umbilicus ‘navel’, and Greek omphalos ‘boss, navel’. Compare with nave.

Pronunciation

navel

/ˈneɪv(ə)l/