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

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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 Watching the scene, Alison couldn’t help but mentally fast-forward a few years, imagining the same boy and girl as a couple with a young baby, arguing after a few drinks. Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, "The Shadow Pandemic," 4 Aug. 2020 Her daughter gave birth to a baby who weighed just 1.13 pounds. Candice Wang, Popular Science, "Black mothers face high death rates. Now they have to contend with climate change, too.," 4 Aug. 2020 Brittany had just had a baby and was staying at home to raise their children. Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, "Who’s really inside America’s jails? (audio)," 3 Aug. 2020 For Rollins — who has a 10-year-old and a baby arriving in August — the health risk was too much. Washington Post, "Ten bucks left, no place to go: How the pandemic and a broken unemployment system are upending people’s lives," 1 Aug. 2020 Gusts of biting wind blew through her garments, an infant wrapped to her chest and a baby in her belly. Sarah Haselhorst, The Enquirer, "Margaret Garner's story has resonated for the past 164 years. It's one she never got to tell," 30 July 2020 To let Crippen know of the incredible discovery, Boro wrote their late father’s name, Wendall Huffman, on a white board, and mimicked rocking a baby. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, "Woman's COVID-19 Diagnosis Leads Her to Surprise Reunion with Long-Lost Sister After 50 Years," 30 July 2020 During a stop in Fairhope last month, Sessions said his great-grandfather was killed during the Battle of Antietam during the Civil War in 1862, leaving his great-grandmother a widow and single mother with a baby. al, "Can Jeff Sessions roar back into Senate, or will Trump ruin an otherwise perfect political career?," 10 July 2020 It’s kind of like the way a mother sleeps with a new baby. Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje, ExpressNews.com, "The coronavirus turns San Antonio teen into a home health aide — and an ‘invisible’ hero," 10 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective This was unusual for Burke, who normally bounced back quickly within 10 pounds of her post-baby weight. Jackie Frere, Redbook, "This Mom's Instagram Encourages Others to Embrace Their Postpartum Bodies," 25 Oct. 2017 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 After the couple posted a video of Markle reading a book to baby Archie in honor of Save The Children UK, Jennifer Garner, a supporter of the charity, posted a public message of thanks. Kathryn Lindsay, refinery29.com, "Jennifer Garner Penned An Open Letter To Meghan Markle & Prince Harry," 8 May 2020 From funerals and weddings, to baby showers and graduations, the coronavirus pandemic has caused families all over the world to cancel or postpone life's biggest moments. Nicole Chavez, CNN, "As New York takes weddings online, Cuomo jokes now there's 'no excuse' to tie the knot," 18 Apr. 2020 Bardi has talked about going under the knife for liposuction during some of her performances after giving birth to baby Kulture last summer. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "Cardi B Postpones Baltimore Concert," 21 May 2019 These times were achieved by babying the 4626-pound sedan's accelerator to 30 mph before going to full throttle. Scott Oldham, Car and Driver, "The Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody Has No Sympathy for Its Tires," 22 Jan. 2020 But each country celebrates it in honor of the Biblical story of the three kings — Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar — who, as the tale goes, followed a star to baby Jesus. Silvia Foster-frau, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio’s Puerto Ricans celebrate Three Kings Day," 5 Jan. 2020 Previous season 4 episodes have shown the two drifting apart in the present day, as Toby continues to pursue Crossfit while Kate feels overwhelmed with being a new mom to baby Jack. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "So Many 'This Is Us' Fans Missed a Very Big Clue About Kate and Toby's Relationship During the Fall Finale," 20 Nov. 2019 Meghan Markle made her first appearance since giving birth to baby Archie this past weekend at Queen Elizabeth II's annual Trooping the Colour ceremony. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "We All Totally Missed Baby Archie at Trooping the Colour This Weekend," 12 June 2019 Las Posadas commemorates the long journey that Joseph and Mary made from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of lodging, a safe place where Mary could give birth to baby Jesus. Ashley Novak, CNN, "Christmas traditions around the world," 25 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for baby

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for baby

Last Updated

7 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Baby.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/baby. Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

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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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