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belong to (someone or something)

1. To be a member of something, such as a team or club. My daughter belongs to the debate team at school. I belong to the gym on Main Street if you ever want to come work out with me.
2. To be one's possession. No, that coat belongs to Rachel—mine has a hood. Who do these headphones belong to? That department always belonged under the CFO, they're just making it official now.
See also: belong

belong under (something)

To be properly categorized under a certain status, heading, or title. When you files these documents, they belong under "July 2008." What heading does that paragraph belong under?
See also: belong

to the victor belong the spoils

The winner is entitled to all of the rewards, bonuses, or benefits of success. (A variation of "to the victor go the spoils.") John won the betting pool, so he gets the whole pot of money from those who paid in. To the victor belong the spoils! A lot of other contestants on the singing competition are well worthy of signing a record deal, but to the victor belong the spoils.
See also: belong, spoil, victor

belong to someone or something

to be owned by someone or something. This one belongs to me. This desk belongs to the company. You can't take it home!
See also: belong

belong under something

to be classified under some general category. This one belongs under the other category. This file belongs under A.
See also: belong

To the victors belong the spoils.

Prov. The winners achieve power over people and property. The mayor took office and immediately fired many workers and hired new ones. Everyone said, "To the victors belong the spoils."
See also: belong, spoil, victor

to the victor belong the spoils

The winner gets everything, as in He not only won the tournament but ended up with numerous lucrative endorsements-to the victor belong the spoils . This expression alludes to the spoils system of American politics, whereby the winner of an election gives desirable jobs to party supporters. [First half of 1800s]
See also: belong, spoil, victor
References in classic literature ?
I should admit this view as regards sensations: what is heard or seen belongs equally to psychology and to physics.
Therefore it is that these Rhine castles thrill me with a sense of poetry; they belong to the grand historic life of humanity, and raise up for me the vision of an echo.
Any European-born student can belong to it, except he be a Frenchman.
I dined, myself, while those numskulls were deliberating which world you should belong to--this, or some other.
If he belong to that party, he must already have given them the alarm, and it will avail nothing either to fight or fly.
These belong to the fourth of those classes, and partake, in some measure, of the nature of the last.
We belong to this country alone, and cannot leave it.
You belong to me already, you know; your heart, I mean.
though this is what Socrates regards as a proof that a city is entirely one), for the word All is used in two senses; if it means each individual, what Socrates proposes will nearly take place; for each person will say, this is his own son, and his own wife, and his own property, and of everything else that may happen to belong to him, that it is his own.
Kasatsky did not belong to the first two sets, but was readily welcomed in the others.
You sing out, him fella brother belong you die too much," the white man went on in threatening tones.
They seemed more directly to belong to the Arangi and to him.
You belong by rights to girls like Lizzie Connolly.
Kwaque, you make 'm walk about leg belong you," he commanded, in order to make sure.
TO-DAY, as we walk about the streets and watch the people hurry to and fro, we cannot tell from the dress they wear to what class they belong.