A naval regiment was dispatched to counter direct attacks from the enemy. None of the naval officers were injured during the operation except one who received severe injuries beneath his navel.

The words navel and naval are misunderstood by countless people because they have the same pronunciation and a very similar spelling. Despite sounding the same, they have distinct meanings and one cannot be used in the place of the other. Etymologically speaking, naval descends from the Latin term ‘navis’ which translates to ship. Whereas, the term navel is believed to have origins in old English. Navel as a noun refers to the belly button, while naval as an adjective describes something that is related to the navy. These words occur often in the English vocabulary, in writing as well as everyday conversations. Hence, making an error while using them will make you look sloppy in front of your colleagues. This article will be discussing the difference between both of these terms by providing direct insights on how they’re used in daily life. Clarify your concepts and memorize them instantly with the helpful tip at the end.

Naval vs navel – definition, uses, and example sentences

Definition of naval

Naval is pronounced as ‘nei-vahl.’ As an adjective it refers to something that relates with the navy. The navy is a branch of the nation’s army and its main purpose is to handle sea-borne, ocean-borne, or lake-borne operations to provide defense against the nation’s enemies. Naval originated from the Latin term ‘navis’ which translates to a marine vessel or ship.

Example sentences of naval:

  • A symbol of historical heritage and preserver of countless naval memories is the National Museum of the Royal Navy. It was formerly known as the Royal Naval Museum. It is located in the Portsmouth Dockyard section of HMNB Portsmouth, Hampshire, England and continues to inspire thousands of visitors every year.

Surprisingly, this museum was founded in 1911 and still continues to conserve naval historic relics for future generations. It is located in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. The sentence showcased above uses the word naval in its simplest sense.

  • A naval base operated under covers from the abandoned island.

This sentence mentions that a naval base (base belonging to the navy) functioned from a deserted island secretly.

  • Ed Barker was the spokesman for the Naval Warfare Systems Command USA.

The spokesman is the person who represents and makes statements on behalf of any organization or system while naval here means pertaining to the navy.

Definition of Navel

The Navel is a noun that is pronounced as ‘nay-vl.’ It is a small depression present directly at the center of every person’s stomach. Clinically, it is known as the umbilicus while colloquially, it is referred to as the tummy button. The root from which navel descends is the Anglo- Saxon word ‘nafela,’

Naval-gazing is a common phrase that is used widely but has nothing to do with the word’s literal meaning. The phrase denotes people who are self-obsessed and happen to be fixated on a singular issue and cannot seem to move ahead. This is an example of how this phrase is used.

The Germans are becoming the most incredible self-observed navel-gazers.

Another very common usage of the word navel occurs in ‘naval oranges.’ These oranges were allotted this name because they happen to have a depression that resembles belly buttons.

Example sentences of navel:

  • She pierced her navel because it had become a trend.

This sentence shows that the girl had pierced her belly button because it had become popular.

  • Tattooing an elaborated design from navel to thigh is mostly common in America.

This sentence describes that tattooing the overall body, especially from the tummy button to the thighs has gained popularity in America.

  • From her navel to her spine, she has been ripped apart during the delivery.

This sentence reiterates how a woman was ripped apart (gravely wounded) during her delivery. The navel refers to the belly button and the woman mentioned here was specifically wounded from her navel to the spine.


The two terms, navel and naval are common terms of the English language so if you’re caught using them wrongly it will not be treated as a minor error. A little practice through verbal usage will help you clear your concepts as well as help you use them flawlessly. If you find yourself needing extra help remember that ‘navel’ is the ‘belly button’ and both of these terms contain an ‘e’. While ‘naval,’ has to do with the ‘army’ at ‘sea’ and all of these terms have an ‘a’.