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Bellyache is a term with a literal meaning and a figurative meaning. We will examine the definitions of bellyache, where the word came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

When used as a noun, the word bellyache refers to a pain in the gut. However, bellyache is often used as a verb to mean to complain, especially in an annoying manner, to whine. People are often admonished to quit bellyaching. Related words are bellyaches, bellyached, bellyaching. The word bellyache first appeared in the mid-1500s in a literal sense. The term took on a figurative meaning in American English in the 1880s. Bellyache is sometimes rendered with a hyphen as in belly-ache, though the Oxford English Dictionary only lists it as one word with no spaces or hyphen.


In addition to the decorations themselves, Morgan cautioned would-be chefs to keep a close eye on the food they prepare, as a determined dog could find itself neck-deep in holiday treats, prompting a bellyache at best, and a rush to the emergency room at worst. (The Wheeling News-Register)

“I thought, you could sit home and bellyache about it, or you could do something about it,” Esp said. (The Bozeman Daily Chronicle)

I have listened to Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi bellyache about “tax cuts for the rich” so long that I needed some education on how that works. (The Island Packet)

Those who bellyached last July over Kevin Durant’s decision to join the Golden State Warriors’ funhouse are snarling and belting out “I told you so!” at every chance. (The Chicago Tribune)

Karim bellyached about the tourism tax to be imposed on hotels in his home state, and whined about the federal government’s ignoring of the celebrated Malaysia Agreement 1963. (The Malaysiakini)