Definition of bellyflop in English:



  • 1A dive into water, landing flat on one's front.

    • ‘The sight so startled him that he finally lost control, doing a painful bellyflop that threw up a cascade of water.’
    • ‘Or they make up their own dives on the spot, sometimes while in midair -- improvisation that frequently leads to the kind of painful bellyflop that causes spectators to groan with a combination of sympathy and mirth’
    • ‘I watched as Damian fell off his board for the umpteenth time, laughing along with Shawdi at his spectacular bellyflop.’
    • ‘Alex is going in feet-first, Paddington is doing a bomb, and Felicity looks like she's about to do the most painful bellyflop ever.’
    • ‘He teetered, lost his balance and fell off, making a tremendous splash as he hit the water with an inelegant bellyflop and an angry shout.’
  • 2A commercial failure.

    ‘the film's bellyflop at the box office is unsurprising’
    • ‘With The Rock and the massive bellyflop of Pearl Harbour, he has become the macho man of action movies and the favourite son of producer Jerry Bruckheimer.’
    • ‘Last year was a bellyflop of a season for the Bud boys.’
    • ‘In 1971, Mel Stuart's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was a major box-office bellyflop but has gradually become something of a perennial favourite.’
    • ‘And I'll predict right now that the movie is going to perform a tremendous bellyflop at the box office.’


[NO OBJECT]informal
  • 1 Perform a bellyflop.

    • ‘She bellyflopped onto her bed and opened her purple laptop.’
    • ‘Taking a running start, we bellyflopped onto the sled and went down head first, hopefully catching a few dips and flying over them, becoming temporarily airborne.’
    • ‘Suddenly, without warning, she bellyflopped, unceremoniously, into the wooden planter.’
    • ‘The two men bellyflop each other for a bit until Haystacks falls through the ropes on to a nice ringside flower arrangement and is counted out. ‘Easy!’
    • ‘She bellyflopped flat down onto the pavement.’
    be unsuccessful, fail, not work, fall flat, founder, misfire, backfire, be a disappointment, do badly, lose money, be a disaster, meet with disaster, come to grief, miss the mark, run aground
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1(of an aircraft) perform a belly landing.
      • ‘As the plane approached the water, the right wing dramatically dropped but this appeared to be mostly corrected when it looked like the airliner stalled and literally bellyflopped into the water with a huge splash.’
      • ‘“Ditching” was a procedure wherein the disabled aircraft “bellyflopped” on the ocean surface.’