Definition of bellyflop in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈbelēˌfläp/


1A dive into water, landing flat on one’s front.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • I watched as Damian fell off his board for the umpteenth time, laughing along with Shawdi at his spectacular bellyflop.
  • The sight so startled him that he finally lost control, doing a painful bellyflop that threw up a cascade of water.
2A commercial failure: the film’s bellyflop at the box office is unsurprising
More example sentences
  • 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.

verb (bellyflops, bellyflopping, bellyflopped)

[no object]
1Perform a bellyflop.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • Suddenly, without warning, she bellyflopped, unceremoniously, into the wooden planter.
1.1(Of an aircraft) perform a belly landing.
Example sentences
  • 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.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: bel·ly·flop

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.