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noun cra·dle \ˈkrā-dəl\

Simple Definition of cradle

  • : a bed for a baby that is usually designed to rock back and forth when pushed gently

  • : the place where something begins

  • : something that is used to hold or support something else

Full Definition of cradle

  1. 1 a :  a bed or cot for a baby usually on rockers or pivots b :  a framework or support suggestive of a baby's cradle: as (1) :  a framework of bars and rods (2) :  the support for a telephone receiver or handset c :  an implement with rods like fingers attached to a scythe and used formerly for harvesting grain d :  a frame to keep the bedclothes from contact with an injured part of the body

  2. 2 a :  the earliest period of life :  infancy <from the cradle to the grave> b :  a place of origin <the cradle of civilization>

  3. 3 :  a rocking device used in panning for gold

Examples of cradle

  1. She placed the phone back on its cradle.

  2. A number of ships were resting in their cradles in the shipyard.

Origin of cradle

Middle English cradel, from Old English cradol; perhaps akin to Old High German kratto basket, Sanskrit grantha knot

First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Furniture and Woodworking Terms

Rhymes with cradle



verb cra·dle

Simple Definition of cradle

  • : to hold (something or someone) gently in your arms or hands

Full Definition of cradle

cra·dledcra·dling play \ˈkrād-liŋ, ˈkrā-dəl-iŋ\

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to place or keep in or as if in a cradle b :  shelter, rear c :  to support protectively or intimately <cradling the injured man's head in her arms>

  3. 2 :  to cut (grain) with a cradle scythe

  4. 3 :  to place, raise, support, or transport on a cradle

  5. intransitive verb
  6. obsolete :  to rest in or as if in a cradle

Examples of cradle

  1. He cradled her face in his hands.

  2. She was cradling the injured man's head in her arms.

15th Century

First Known Use of cradle

15th century

Medical Dictionary


noun cra·dle \ˈkrād-əl\

Medical Definition of cradle

  1. 1:  a bed or cot for a baby usually on rockers or pivots

  2. 2a:  a frame to keep the bedclothes from contact with an injured part of the bodyb:  a frame placed on the neck of an animal to keep it from biting an injury or sore

Seen and Heard

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February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

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