Under one’s belt

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Under one’s belt is an idiom with an origin that goes back several hundred years. We will examine the meaning of the idiom under one’s belt, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

Under one’s belt is an idiom that means something that one has acquired, especially a talent, knowledge, or experience that one has acquired. Having something under one’s belt is the process of accruing successes. The expression under one’s belt first came into use in the late 1700s-early 1800s, and was used as the expression of a tally of how many alcoholic beverages one had consumed. Over time, the phrase under one’s belt came to mean consuming food, also. By the 1920s-1930s, under one’s belt came to mean to acquire knowledge, talent or experience.


Justin is an excellent student and has quite a full roster of Ellenville High School sports under his belt. (The Shawangunk Journal)

With 15 novels under his belt in the Longmire series and more than 3 million books sold, Johnson certainly has a formula that works. (The Tallahassee Democrat)

Several days ago, this time with many long bike rides under my belt, I felt myself identifying a little more with all the cyclists gathering for the Dirty Pizza. (The Monadnock Ledger-Transcript)

With a whole new level of mental and physical training under her belt, she came back ready for conquer her final year of cross country. (The Clinton Herald)