umbilicus ( def 1 ).
the central point or middle of any thing or place.
Heraldry. nombril.

before 900; Middle English; Old English nafela; cognate with Dutch navel, German Nabel, Old Norse nafli; akin to Sanskrit nābhīla, Latin umbilīcus, Greek omphalós

naval, navel. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
navel (ˈneɪvəl)
1.  Technical name: umbilicus the scar in the centre of the abdomen, usually forming a slight depression, where the umbilical cord was attachedRelated: umbilical
2.  a central part, location, or point; middle
3.  short for navel orange
Related: umbilical
[Old English nafela; related to Old Frisian navla, Old High German nabulo (German Nabel), Latin umbilīcus]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

O.E. nafela, from P.Gmc. *nabalan (cf. O.N. nafli, O.Fris. navla, M.Du. navel, O.H.G. nabalo, Ger. Nabel), from PIE *(o)nobh- "navel" (cf. Skt. nabhila "navel, nave, relationship;" Avestan nafa "navel," naba-nazdishta "next of kin;" Pers. naf; O.Prus. nabis "navel;" Gk. omphalos; O.Ir. imbliu). Cf. also
L. umbilicus "navel," source of Sp. ombligo and O.Fr. lombril, lit. "the navel," from l'ombril, which by dissimilation became modern Fr. nombril (12c.). "Navel" words from other roots include Lith. bamba, Skt. bimba- (also "disk, sphere"), Gk. bembix, lit. "whirlpool." O.C.S. papuku, Lith. pumpuras are originally "bud." Considered a feminine sexual center since ancient times, and still in parts of the Middle East, India, and Japan. Even in medieval Europe, it was averred that "[t]he seat of wantonness in women is the navel." [Cambridge bestiary, C.U.L. ii.4.26] Words for it in most languages have a secondary sense of "center." Meaning "center or hub of a country" is attested in Eng. from 1382. To contemplate (one's) navel "meditate" is from 1933; hence navel-gazer (1952). Navel orange attested from 1888.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

navel na·vel (nā'vəl)
The mark on the surface of the abdomen that indicates where the umbilical cord was attached to the fetus during gestation. Also called bellybutton, umbilicus.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


in anatomy, a small depression in the abdominal wall at the point of attachment of the umbilical cord (q.v.). It indicates the point through which the mammalian fetus obtained nourishment from its mother through the blood vessels of the umbilical cord.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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