below the belt


a band of flexible material, as leather or cord, for encircling the waist.
any encircling or transverse band, strip, or stripe.
an elongated region having distinctive properties or characteristics: a belt of cotton plantations.
Machinery. an endless flexible band passing about two or more pulleys, used to transmit motion from one pulley to the other or others or to convey materials and objects.
a cloth strip with loops or a series of metal links with grips, for holding cartridges fed into an automatic gun.
a band of leather or webbing, worn around the waist and used as a support for weapons, ammunition, etc.
a series of armor plates forming part of the hull of a warship.
a broad, flexible strip of rubber, canvas, wood, etc., moved along the surface of a fresh concrete pavement to put a finish on it after it has been floated.
a road, railroad, or the like, encircling an urban center to handle peripheral traffic.
Slang. a hard blow or hit.
Slang. a shot of liquor, especially as swallowed in one gulp.
Automotive. a strip of material used in a type of motor-vehicle tire (belted tire) where it is placed between the carcass and the tread for reinforcement.
verb (used with object)
to gird or furnish with a belt.
to surround or mark as if with a belt or band: Garbage cans were belted with orange paint.
to fasten on (a sword, gun, etc.) by means of a belt.
to beat with or as if with a belt, strap, etc.
Slang. to hit very hard, far, etc.: You were lucky he didn't belt you in the mouth when you said that. He belted a triple to right field.
Informal. to sing (a song) loudly and energetically (sometimes followed by out ): She can belt out a number with the best of them.
Slang. to drink (a shot of liquor) quickly, especially in one gulp (sometimes followed by down ): He belted a few and went back out into the cold.
below the belt, not in accord with the principles of fairness, decency, or good sportsmanship: criticism that hit below the belt.
tighten one's belt,
to undergo hardship patiently.
to curtail one's expenditures; be more frugal: They were urged to tighten their belts for the war effort.
under one's belt, Informal.
in one's stomach, as food or drink: With a few Scotches under his belt, he's everyone's friend.
considered as a matter of successful past experience: I don't think our lawyer has enough similar cases under his belt.

before 1000; Middle English; Old English; compare Old High German balz; both < Latin balteus; see balteus

beltless, adjective

3. Belt and zone agree in their original meaning of a girdle or band. Belt is more used in popular or journalistic writing: the corn or wheat belt. Zone tends to be used in technical language: the Torrid Zone; a parcel-post zone. 12. girdle, encircle. 14. gird (on). 15. flog, lash. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
belt (bɛlt)
1.  a band of cloth, leather, etc, worn, usually around the waist, to support clothing, carry tools, weapons, or ammunition, or as decoration
2.  a narrow band, circle, or stripe, as of colour
3.  an area, esp an elongated one, where a specific thing or specific conditions are found; zone: the town belt; a belt of high pressure
4.  a belt worn as a symbol of rank (as by a knight or an earl), or awarded as a prize (as in boxing or wrestling), or to mark particular expertise (as in judo or karate)
5.  See seat belt
6.  a band of flexible material between rotating shafts or pulleys to transfer motion or transmit goods: a fan belt; a conveyer belt
7.  See cordon a beltcourse
8.  informal a sharp blow, as with a bat or the fist
9.  below the belt
 a.  boxing below the waist, esp in the groin
 b.  informal in an unscrupulous or cowardly way
10.  tighten one's belt to take measures to reduce expenditure
11.  under one's belt
 a.  (of food or drink) in one's stomach
 b.  in one's possession
 c.  as part of one's experience: he had a linguistics degree under his belt
vb (often foll by along)
12.  (tr) to fasten or attach with or as if with a belt
13.  (tr) to hit with a belt
14.  slang (tr) to give a sharp blow; punch
15.  slang to move very fast, esp in a car: belting down the motorway
16.  rare (tr) to mark with belts, as of colour
17.  rare (tr) to encircle; surround
[Old English, from Latin balteus]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  below the belt
Part of Speech:  adj
Definition:  unfair; disregarding the rules
Etymology:  1941-46; after illegal punch in boxing
Main Entry:  below the belt
Part of Speech:  adv
Definition:  unfairly
Etymology:  1941-46; after illegal punch in boxing's 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin & History

"to thrash as with a belt," 1640s, from belt (n.); general sense of "to hit, thrash" is attested from 1838.

O.E. belt, from P.Gmc. *baltjaz (cf. O.H.G. balz, O.N. balti, Swed. bälte), an early borrowing from L. balteus "girdle, sword belt," said by Varro to be an Etruscan word. As a mark of rank or distinction, mid-14c.; references to boxing championship belts date from 1812. Transferred sense of "broad
stripe encircling something" is from 1660s. Below the belt "unfair" (1889) is from pugilism. To get something under (one's) belt is to get it into one's stomach.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
belt   (bělt)  Pronunciation Key 
A geographic region that is distinctive in a specific respect.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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