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 addressHey baby, nice car!
4 : person, thing is one tough baby

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 Among the patients being transferred are some of the babies and children in the hospital’s neonatal and pediatric intensive care units. Lisa Schencker, chicagotribune.com, "Babies, children in intensive care at University of Chicago Medical Center being moved elsewhere in anticipation of nurses strike," 16 Sep. 2019 The baby died a week before his first birthday, and an autopsy found the cause was a fractured skull caused by blunt-force trauma to the head. Marc Freeman, sun-sentinel.com, "Woman who cracked nephew baby’s skull gets 12 years," 11 Sep. 2019 The baby’s face wasn’t revealed in the photo, but Mrs. Bennett deserves a round of applause for this amazing onesie. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Chance The Rapper Is Rescheduling His Tour To Be A Family Man," 10 Sep. 2019 The baby, a girl, was born in 2004 and put up for adoption. USA Today, "Trapped and trafficked: Officials in small Ohio town accused of sex trafficking underage girls," 5 Sep. 2019 As April blossomed into May, reporters were getting impatient; some even had to cancel vacations when the baby had yet to arrive. K.j. Yossman, Marie Claire, "Inside the Cutthroat World of Royal Gossips," 5 Sep. 2019 The mother found the baby and immediately performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation until firefighters arrived. Ayano Nagaishi, azcentral, "1-year-old baby pulled from backyard pool in Glendale," 3 Sep. 2019 The baby, Chiara, weighs about 20 to 25 pounds and was last seen wearing a dress with blue flowers. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "Woman and 1-year-old daughter missing from Mill Creek reportedly found," 27 Aug. 2019 About 25% of teen moms have a 2nd child within 24 months of their first baby. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "15 Facts About Teen Pregnancy You Need to Know," 21 Aug. 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 As a fellow new mama herself, to baby Hal, the sentimental passage about deciding to become a parent clearly means a lot to Hager, too. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "Hoda Kotb Shares Her Boyfriend Joel's Heartwarming Reaction to Her Desire to Adopt," 21 Oct. 2019 Samsung will have an actual person walk people through the Dos and Don'ts of babying their new foldable smartphone. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "After a five-month delay, the $2,000 Galaxy Fold arrives in the US on Friday [Updated]," 23 Sep. 2019 Currently, Jenna is on maternity leave after giving birth to baby Henry. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Where Is Jenna Bush Hager? What the 'Today' Show Will Look Like Now That She's on Maternity Leave," 5 Aug. 2019 Speaking of Melvin, what a treat to watch a big-league manager throw young pitchers right into the fire, instead of babying them along in no-pressure situations. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "A’s future is now with Jesus Luzardo and Sean Murphy," 13 Sep. 2019 Joining them on the baby front are Andrei and Elizabeth, who are now parents to baby Eleanor. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After?' Season 4 Will Be Like Nothing You've Ever Watched," 19 Apr. 2019 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

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

27 Oct 2019

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
How to pronounce baby (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of baby

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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

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

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for baby

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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