Definition of BELLOWS


Bellows functions primarily as a noun, referring to a device consisting of a hinged, air-tight chamber with flexible sides, used to create a strong current of air when squeezed together and then expanded. It is commonly employed in various applications such as blacksmithing, fire starting, and certain musical instruments.

Noun – Air-Generating Device: As a noun, bellows denotes a mechanical device designed to generate a blast of air by compressing and expanding a chamber with flexible sides. This movement creates a flow of air that can be directed towards a specific target, such as a fire, furnace, or musical instrument.

Noun – Blacksmithing and Forging: In blacksmithing and metalworking, bellows are traditionally used to supply a controlled stream of air to fuel a fire, allowing for higher temperatures and more efficient heating of metals during forging and shaping processes.

Noun – Fire Starting and Maintenance: Bellows are also utilized in fire starting and maintenance, particularly in outdoor settings or traditional hearth environments. By directing a concentrated stream of air onto a flame or ember, bellows can help ignite or revive a fire, ensuring sustained combustion.

Noun – Musical Instruments: In certain musical instruments, such as the accordion or concertina, bellows serve as a crucial component for producing sound. By compressing and expanding the bellows, musicians can control the airflow to create varying pitches and dynamics, contributing to the instrument’s expressive capabilities.

In conclusion, bellows is a noun that refers to a device used to generate a blast of air by compressing and expanding a chamber with flexible sides. Whether in blacksmithing, fire starting, or musical instrument construction, bellows play a vital role in various applications where a controlled airflow is necessary for achieving desired outcomes. By harnessing the principles of air compression and expansion, bellows facilitate processes ranging from metal forging to fire management to musical performance, demonstrating their versatility and utility across diverse fields and contexts.

Examples of BELLOWS in a sentence

  • The blacksmith used the bellows to intensify the heat of the forge, ensuring the metal reached the optimal temperature for shaping.
  • As the organist pressed the keys, the rhythmic pumping of the bellows supplied a continuous flow of air, producing rich and resonant tones.
  • The inflatable camping mattress featured a built-in bellows mechanism, making it easy for campers to quickly inflate and deflate their sleeping surface.
  • In the old windmill, the creaking sound of the wooden bellows echoed through the structure as the wind turned the blades, powering the milling process.
  • The blacksmith’s apprentice learned the importance of coordinating the rhythm of the hammer with the operation of the bellows for effective metalworking.
  • The firefighter operated the portable smoke ejector, a high-powered bellows system, to quickly clear the building of smoke after extinguishing the fire.
  • The blacksmith used a pair of sturdy bellows to stoke the fire in the forge.
  • The carpenter used a set of wooden bellows to blow away sawdust and wood shavings from his workbench.

Origin of BELLOWS 

The word “bellows” has an interesting etymology:

  • Old English: The term “bellows” has Old English origins, and it can be traced back to the word “belg,” which means bag or pouch.
  • Middle English: In Middle English, the word evolved to “bely,” referring to a bag or sack.
  • Old Norse Influence: The Old Norse word “belgr” also contributed to the development of the term, sharing a similar meaning of bag or pouch.
  • Dutch Connection: The Middle Dutch word “belch” and the Dutch word “belg” both meant bag or bellows, further influencing the development of the word.
  • Germanic Roots: The word “bellows” ultimately has Germanic roots, and its historical usage has been associated with various forms of devices that resemble a bag or pouch for the purpose of blowing air.

The evolution of the word reflects its historical association with devices designed to produce a current of air, especially in metalworking and musical instruments. The concept of a flexible bag or pouch that can be compressed and expanded is central to the word’s etymology.


  • Pump
  • Blower
  • Bagpipe
  • Puffer
  • Exhauster
  • Fan
  • Inflator
  • Forcer


  • Extractor
  • Suction
  • Ventilator
  • Dehumidifier
  • Exhaust
  • Vacuum
  • Drain


  • Accordion
  • Forge
  • Organ
  • Pump
  • Inflate
  • Expand
  • Contraction
  • Airflow

🌐 🇬🇧 BELLOWS in other languages

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