be·long (bĭ-lông, -lŏng)
intr.v. be·longed, be·long·ing, be·longs
a. To be proper, appropriate, or suitable: A napkin belongs at every place setting.
b. To be in an appropriate situation or environment: That plant belongs outdoors.
a. To be a member of a group, such as a club.
b. To fit into a group naturally: No matter what I did, I just didn't belong.
3. To be owned by someone. Often used with to: "The earth belongs to the living" (Thomas Jefferson).
4. To be a part of something else: These blades belong to the food processor.
[Middle English bilongen : probably bi-, be- + longen, to belong (probably from long, dependent, from Old English gelang, along, depending; see del-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus