mid-14c., "to go along with, properly relate to," from be- intensive prefix, + longen "to go," from Old English langian "pertain to, to go along with," which is of uncertain origin but perhaps related to the root of long (adj.). The senses of "be the property of" and "be a member of" are attested from late 14c. Cognate with Middle Dutch belanghen, Dutch belangen, German belangen. It displaced earlier Old English gelang, with completive prefix ge-.
updated on October 07, 2022
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