belly out

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belly out (third-person singular simple present bellies out, present participle bellying out, simple past and past participle bellied out)

  1. (intransitive) To bulge or billow outward.
    • 1733, The Dublin Society, Instructions for Managing Bees, Chapter 2, p. 12,[1]
      [] the Shape of the Hive is recommended to be like an Egg, with one End cut off, as People order it when they are about to eat it, it may consist of twelve Straw-Wreaths or Rowls, according to the Bigness of it; the three first Rowls of one Magnitude, and about a Foot or somewhat more in Diameter, the four next above them larger, bellying out a little each beyond his Fellow, that the Combs may be more firmly fastned []
    • 1803, Vivant Denon, Travels in Upper and Lower Egypt, translated by Arthur Aikin, Volume II, Chapter 16, p. 270,[2]
      The most considerable and most elevated parts consist of six columns, the capitals of three of which belly out, while those of the three others, which are parallel to them, are guttered []
    • 1896, H. G. Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau, Chapter 5,[3]
      In a kind of stupor I watched all hands take to the rigging, and slowly but surely she came round to the wind; the sails fluttered, and then bellied out as the wind came into them.
    • 1944, Caleb Milne, “I Dream of the Day...” Letters from Caleb Milne, Africa, 1942-1943, Woodstock, NY: Van Rees Press, Chapter 4, p. 21,[4]
      Now and then the street bellies out into an ancient lime-stone square filled with fiacres and peddlers, pausing in the loud sunshine.
  2. (transitive) To cause to bulge or billow outward.
    • 1834, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Happiness” (written in 1791), lines 30-31,[5]
      The scene is changed and Fortune’s gale
      Shall belly out each prosperous sail.
    • 1845, Nathaniel Parker Willis, Dashes at Life with a Free Pencil, New York: J.S. Redfield, 3rd edition, “The Republic of Broadway,” p. 162,[6]
      Avoid a broadcloth shirt, in the shape of a shapeless garment with sleeves (one of the new fashions). It looks colic-y, with the wind bellying it out in all directions as you walk along.
    • 1870, George Rooper, Thames and Tweed, London: Cassell, Petter & Galpin, “The Salmon,” p. 131,[7]
      Rushing downstream, taking out fathoms of line too freely given, the crafty savage returns on his tracks, swimming deep down in the bed of the stream, and trusting to the weight of the water to belly out the line and leave the fisherman under the mistaken impression that the intended victim is still pursuing a downward course, the fish eventually brings such a strain upon the line that either it or the rod, or perhaps both, give way []
    • 1889, Arthur Conan Doyle, Micah Clarke, Chapter 24,[8]
      Now and anon a little puff of breeze caught the foresail and bellied it out for a moment, only to let it flap back against the mast, limp and slack, once more.