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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

My wife stays home with a baby, can’t afford daycare. Mike Bianchi, orlandosentinel.com, "College baseball should be ashamed of ‘dehumanizing’ way it treats unpaid assistants, debt-ridden players | Commentary," 29 June 2019 In 2017 Syrian women in Germany had 20,100 babies, up from just 2,300 three years earlier. The Economist, "Why Germany’s birth rate is rising and Italy’s isn’t," 29 June 2019 Orlando City SC stars Sydney Leroux and Dom Dwyer announced the arrival of their baby girl. Iliana Limón Romero, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City SC stars Sydney Leroux, Dom Dwyer welcome new baby girl," 29 June 2019 Now the baby, whose gender is unknown, is rapidly growing and getting the hang of being a whooping crane. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee County Zoo's whooping crane pair act as foster parents to chick born at the zoo," 28 June 2019 Her mother shares that she was born a drug-addicted baby, abused as a child, and in the foster care system for the first eight years of her life. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "How Angel Athenas Became One of the Strongest Special Olympics Powerlifters in the World," 26 June 2019 Almost half of all childbirths in Uttar Pradesh in financial year 2016 did not take place at a health institution, while nearly all babies in Kerala were delivered under the care of professionals. Kuwar Singh, Quartz India, "What makes infant deaths five times as likely in Uttar Pradesh than in Kerala?," 26 June 2019 The same bill requires DCS to track the outcomes of babies born exposed to drugs or alcohol, beginning in 2022. Mary Jo Pitzl, Arizona Republic, "A year later, lawmakers taking $56 million from feds for child care," 24 June 2019 The teen was shot in her arm and the baby, who was hit with debris, suffered a leg injury. Olivia Prentzel, nola.com, "Teen shot, baby injured Sunday near Avondale: JPSO," 23 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about baby

Statistics for baby

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for baby

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up baby? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

food or victuals

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!