Definition of umbilicus in English:


Pronunciation: /ˌʌmbɪˈlʌɪkəs//ʌmˈbɪlɪkəs/


  • 1Anatomy
    The navel.

    • ‘The incision is made either horizontally just above the pubic bone (around the top of a bikini line) or vertically from just below the umbilicus (belly button) down to the pubic bone.’
    • ‘Conventional colorectal surgery was performed through a vertical midline incision that extended from 5 cm to 10 cm above the umbilicus to the mons pubis.’
    • ‘A 22-gauge needle can be inserted in a Z-tract fashion, to minimize leakage of fluid after the paracentesis, in midline between the umbilicus and the pubis symphysis in order to avoid collateral vessels.’
    • ‘The normal umbilicus is symmetrically indented into the abdominal wall, though it may be nearly flat in very slender people.’
    • ‘He has a palpable ‘olive’ above the umbilicus near midline and he is severely dehydrated.’
  • 2Zoology
    A depression or hole at the centre of the shell whorls of some gastropod molluscs and many ammonites.

    • ‘A coiled conch develops a closed umbilicus only when certain very limited conditions are fulfilled, thus permitting only very limited degrees of freedom.’
    • ‘Only in conch thickness do they show a relatively wide variability, ranging from pachyconic conchs with moderately wide umbilici to extremely slender, oxyconic conchs with closed umbilici.’
    • ‘Paosia differs from the enigmatic and poorly defined Pterodonta by having a much less globose adult last whorl, lower spire, anterior end of outer lip projected and incurved, a more sinuous growth line, and in lacking an umbilicus.’
    • ‘One side of the shell is nearly flat, and the opposite side is concave because of the wide umbilicus.’
    • ‘Such a high value can only be realized in conchs with very low WER and a small umbilicus.’
    1. 2.1A hole at each end of the hollow shaft of a feather.
      • ‘The main feather may have an afterfeather attached to it, arising from the underside of the feather at the superior umbilicus.’


Late 17th century: from Latin: related to Greek omphalos, also to navel.