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See also: Belch



  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈbɛltʃ/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛltʃ


From Middle English belchen, from Old English bielċan, from Proto-Germanic *balkijaną, *belkaną, related to Dutch balken (to bray), Middle Low German belken (to shout), Low German bölken (to shout, bark), Old English bealċettan (to utter, send forth). See also English bolk, boak.


belch (third-person singular simple present belches, present participle belching, simple past and past participle belched)

  1. (intransitive, transitive) To expel (gas) loudly from the stomach through the mouth.
    My father used to belch after having a fine meal.
    • c. 1604, William Shakespeare, Othello, Act III, Scene 4, [1]
      'Tis not a year or two shows us a man:
      They are all but stomachs, and we all but food;
      To eat us hungerly, and when they are full,
      They belch us.
    • 1746, attributed to Jonathan Swift, "A Love Poem form a Physician to his Mistress," [2]
      When I an amorous kiss design'd,
      I belch'd a hurricane of wind.
    • 1980, J. M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians, Penguin, 19982, Chapter 2, p. 41,
      She eats too fast, belches behind a cupped hand, smiles.
  2. (transitive) To eject or emit (something) with spasmodic force or noise.
    Yes, we have seen the wrecked cars and the factories belching smoke and the blur of speedy automobiles crowding highways.
    • 1674, John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 10, lines 230-33, [3]
      Within the gates of hell sat Sin and Death,
      In counterview within the gates, that now
      Stood open wide, belching outrageous flame
      Far into Chaos [] .
    • 1697, Virgil, Aeneid, translated by John Dryden, Book VIII, [4]
      Vulcan this plague begot; and, like his sire,
      Black clouds he belch'd, and flakes of livid fire.
    • 1914, Harry Kemp, "I sing the Battle", [5]
      I sing the song of the great clean guns that belch forth death at will.
      Ah, but the wailing mothers, the lifeless forms and still!
  3. (intransitive) To be ejected or emitted (from something) with spasmodic force or noise.
    • 1793, William Blake, Visions of the Daughters of Albion, lines 30-33, [6]
      [] beneath him sound like waves on a desert shore
      The voice of slaves beneath the sun, and children bought with money,
      That shiver in religious caves beneath the burning fires
      Of lust, that belch incessant from the summits of the earth.
    • 1941, Emily Carr, chapter 18, in Klee Wyck[7]:
      I grasped the cold slimy rung. My feet slithered and scrunched on stranded things. Next rung...the next and next...endless horrible rungs, hissing and smells belching from under the wharf.



Related terms[edit]


belch (plural belches)

  1. The sound one makes when belching.
  2. (obsolete) Malt liquor.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dennis to this entry?)

Usage notes[edit]

A belch is often considered to be louder than a burp.