baby

noun
ba·​by | \ ˈbā-bē How to pronounce baby (audio) \
plural babies

Definition of baby

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a(1) : an extremely young child especially : infant
(2) : an extremely young animal
b : the youngest of a group He is the baby of the family.
2a : one that is like a baby (as in behavior) When it comes to getting shots, I'm a real baby.
b : something that is one's special responsibility, achievement, or interest The project was his baby.

3 slang

a : girl, woman often used in address
b : boy, man often used in address Hey baby, nice car!
4 : person, thing is one tough baby

baby

adjective

Definition of baby (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or being an extremely young child a baby bonnet
2 : much smaller than the usual baby carrots a baby grand piano Take baby steps.

baby

verb
babied; babying

Definition of baby (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to tend to indulge with often excessive or inappropriate care and solicitude babying their only child
2 : to use or treat with care babying a sore knee

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Other Words from baby

Noun

babyhood \ ˈbā-​bē-​ˌhu̇d How to pronounce babyhood (audio) \ noun
babyish \ ˈbā-​bē-​ish How to pronounce babyish (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for baby

Verb

indulge, pamper, humor, spoil, baby, mollycoddle mean to show undue favor to a person's desires and feelings. indulge implies excessive compliance and weakness in gratifying another's or one's own desires. indulged myself with food at the slightest excuse pamper implies inordinate gratification of desire for luxury and comfort with consequent enervating effect. pampered by the amenities of modern living humor stresses a yielding to a person's moods or whims. humored him by letting him tell the story spoil stresses the injurious effects on character by indulging or pampering. foolish parents spoil their children baby suggests excessive care, attention, or solicitude. babying students by grading too easily mollycoddle suggests an excessive degree of care and attention to another's health or welfare. refused to mollycoddle her malingering son

Examples of baby in a Sentence

Noun

I hear the baby crying. The baby is just learning to crawl. a bird and its babies My sister is the baby of the family. “Only 32? Oh, you're just a baby!” When it comes to getting shots, I'm a real baby. Don't be such a baby—you'll get your turn. Nothing's gone right since my baby went away.

Verb

That boy will never learn to stand up for himself if you don't stop babying him. It looked like he was babying his injured foot.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The company was founded in 1948 as a baby furniture shop in Northwest Washington, but quickly became a destination for toys of all kinds. cleveland.com, "Toys R Us is back from the dead, but its new stores are unrecognizable," 18 July 2019 My younger sister and I were thrilled by the unexpected birth of three baby guinea pigs. Los Angeles Times, "Readers remember the Apollo 11 moon landing, 50 years later," 18 July 2019 Just last week the attraction noted that in a span of seven days this month six baby animals were born to different mothers at the park. Doug Phillips, sun-sentinel.com, "Sloth: A bad human trait, but a cutey pie for newborn zoo animal," 18 July 2019 Unbeknown to him, baby Archie may be doing his bit for Queen and country already. Max Foster, CNN, "Meghan and Catherine dispel rift rumors, as baby Archie strengthens 'common bond'," 18 July 2019 And this was an event that was going to bring together white people, people of color, old people, grandmas, babies in backpacks. James Sullivan, BostonGlobe.com, "When Bob Marley came to Allston," 18 July 2019 One firefighter salvaged some baby and wedding photos off the walls, but the rest of their possessions were largely destroyed. Libby Solomon, baltimoresun.com, "After five families displaced in Loch Raven Village house fire, community bands together," 17 July 2019 Manny was new and baby-faced — the perfect pairing for an undercover officer. Jessica Boehm, azcentral, "A beat cop, a fateful shooting and the moments that shaped Phoenix's history," 17 July 2019 This program is for babies or young children who are being read to and for school age children up to grade five, reading on their own. courant.com, "Community News For The Manchester Edition," 17 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Happy birthday to my not so baby sister but always the teeniest to tiniest to me, @noahcyrus ! Wandera Hussein, Billboard, "Miley Cyrus Shows Little Sister Noah Birthday Love With Baby Pics," 8 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Since giving birth to baby Archie on May 6, Meghan Markle has only made a handful of public appearances, one of which included the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony earlier this month. Natasha Reda, Glamour, "Meghan Markle Made a Surprise Appearance at a Baseball Game in London With Prince Harry," 29 June 2019 The most important detail – will baby Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor be accompanying the couple to South Africa? Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "It's official: Harry & Meghan are headed to South Africa soon, palace confirms," 27 June 2019 In the summertime, Mom often took me and baby brother to Central Park to see old-school soulsters, with Little Anthony and the Imperials being my first concert. Michael Gonzales, Longreads, "It’s Like That: The Makings of a Hip-Hop Writer," 10 June 2019 This first public appearance by the Duchess of Sussex since giving birth to baby Archie less than five weeks ago cements the importance of Trooping the Colour as a key event in the royal family calendar. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Why Meghan Markle's Appearance at Trooping the Colour This Morning Is So Significant," 8 June 2019 And despite the fact that several close family members, including Prince William and Prince Charles, have yet to meet the little royal, one of Harry's aunts was apparently quickly introduced to baby Archie. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Princess Diana's Sister, Lady Jane Fellowes, Has Already Met Baby Archie," 13 May 2019 As a new mom to baby True, the star has continued her social media candor, this week taking to Twitter to open up about her recent struggles with breastfeeding. Jennifer Lance, Glamour, "Khloé Kardashian Opened Up About the Breastfeeding Problem No One Talks About—and Women Are Thanking Her," 20 Nov. 2018 Doctors encourage parents to use one of the many safe alternatives to baby walkers out there. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Baby Walkers Cause Thousands of ER Visits Every Year, Experts Warn," 26 Sep. 2018 On top of being mom to baby girl Lilah, Reid is an essayist with work in the Los Angeles Times, Glamour and Marie Claire and is a writer on Hulu’s Resident Advisors. Susannah Hutcheson, USA TODAY, "Taylor Jenkins Reid: How I became a bestselling author," 8 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'baby.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of baby

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Adjective

1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1744, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for baby

Noun

Middle English, from babe

Adjective

attributive use of baby entry 1

Verb

verbal derivative of baby entry 1

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Statistics for baby

Last Updated

21 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for baby

The first known use of baby was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for baby

baby

noun

English Language Learners Definition of baby

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a very young child
: a very young animal
: the youngest member of a group

baby

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of baby (Entry 2 of 3)

: very small : much smaller than usual

baby

verb

English Language Learners Definition of baby (Entry 3 of 3)

: to treat (someone) like a baby : to be kind or too kind to (someone)
: to operate or treat (something) in a very careful and gentle way

baby

noun
ba·​by | \ ˈbā-bē How to pronounce baby (audio) \
plural babies

Kids Definition of baby

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a very young child
2 : a very young animal
3 : the youngest of a group
4 : a childish person “After all, Meg, we aren't … kids any more. Why do you always act like such a baby?”— Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

Other Words from baby

babyish \ ˈbā-​bē-​ish \ adjective

baby

adjective

Kids Definition of baby (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : young entry 1 sense 1 a baby deer
2 : very small Take baby steps.

baby

verb
babied; babying

Kids Definition of baby (Entry 3 of 3)

: to treat as a baby : to be overly kind to He's 15. Stop babying him.

baby

noun
ba·​by | \ ˈbā-bē How to pronounce baby (audio) \
plural babies

Medical Definition of baby

1 : an extremely young child especially : infant
2 : an extremely young animal

Other Words from baby

baby adjective
babyhood \ -​bē-​ˌhu̇d How to pronounce babyhood (audio) \ noun
babyish \ -​ish How to pronounce babyish (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on baby

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with baby

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for baby

Spanish Central: Translation of baby

Nglish: Translation of baby for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of baby for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about baby

Comments on baby

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