noun

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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The dead man has a Batman tattoo and a pierced navel.’
    • ‘Abdominal examination revealed a large scar from the navel downwards.’
    • ‘She also had her navel pierced but she didn't show it off so much.’
    • ‘If the patient wears a navel ring, she is asked to remove it.’
    • ‘For two years I had occasional pain in the abdomen especially around the navel for short durations.’
    • ‘Her size two trousers hang about her hips, exposing a navel ring.’
    • ‘Soo Lin's shirt was tight and small and showed her bare navel, which had the ring in it.’
    • ‘A jewel sparkled from her pierced navel and her jeans rode low on her hips.’
    • ‘Symptoms include a gnawing or burning sensation in the abdomen between the navel and the sternum.’
    • ‘Claude smiled lazily and stretched, showing off her tiny ruby navel ring.’
    • ‘The child may have low back pain, stomach pain below the navel, or a long-lasting fever.’
    • ‘An umbilical hernia occurs when part of the intestine protrudes through a weakness in the abdominal wall at the navel.’
    • ‘Tighten your abs by pulling your navel toward your spine and lean to the right.’
    • ‘Her slender waist was now bare exposing the deep navel.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Exhale as you contract your abdominal muscles, pulling your navel toward your spine.’
    • ‘She has already pierced her nose, her ears, her navel and now, her tongue.’
    belly button, tummy button
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The central point of a place.
      ‘the Incas saw Cuzco as the navel of the world’
      • ‘They named the place Cuzco, " the navel of the world, " and the Inca nation was born.’
      • ‘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.’
      centre, central point, middle, midpoint, hub, nub, focal point, focus, pivot, nucleus, heart, core, eye
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • contemplate one's navel

    • Spend time complacently considering oneself or one's own interests; concentrate on one issue at the expense of a wider view.

      • ‘Self-consciousness is not simply a consciousness contemplating its own navel.’
      • ‘I dreamt of spending days lounging in the sun and contemplating my navel.’
      • ‘Of course, this sort of hindsight is only slightly worse than spending your time contemplating your navel.’
      • ‘He came from High Times magazine, where he sat around and played video games and contemplated his navel.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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!’

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

/ˈneɪvəl//ˈnāvəl/