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navel Line breaks: navel
Pronunciation: /ˈneɪv(ə)l/

Definition of navel in English:


1A rounded knotty depression in the centre of a person’s belly caused by the detachment of the umbilical cord after birth; the umbilicus.
Example sentences
  • Abdominal examination revealed a large scar from the navel downwards.
  • 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.
1.1The central point of a place: the Incas saw Cuzco as the navel of the world
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • They named the place Cuzco, " the navel of the world, " and the Inca nation was born.
centre, central point, middle, midpoint, hub, nub, focal point, focus, pivot, nucleus, heart, core, eye
rare omphalos


contemplate one's navel
Spend time complacently considering oneself or one’s interests at the expense of a wider view: the Post Office cannot stop the world while the unions contemplate their navels
More example sentences
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • He came from High Times magazine, where he sat around and played video games and contemplated his navel.


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 nave2.

Words that rhyme with navel

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