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 Those welcoming a baby in the midst of the pandemic have worried about going into the hospital and not being able to see or get in-person help from extended family afterward. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, "Duchess Kate urges new parents to speak out, ask for help when struggling amid coronavirus," 3 May 2020 AP Photo/Teresa Crawford The world may be in the middle of an unprecedented crisis, but people are still having babies. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, "Hospitals are fighting to preserve the joy of childbirth during Covid-19," 22 Apr. 2020 Banning Michiganders from purchasing gardening equipment and car seats for babies strikes me as heavy-handed. Jonah Goldberg, National Review, "Quarantine Protesters Are No Heroes of Civil Disobedience," 22 Apr. 2020 My favorite caecilian fact is that when some species give birth, the babies are born with teeny, shovel-like teeth. Jessica Boddy, Popular Science, "Welcome to Earth, home to human-sized salamanders and skin-eating worms," 22 Apr. 2020 The Queen as a baby in her stroller, trailing a toy behind her. Katherine J Igoe, Marie Claire, "The Palace Releases Adorable Video of the Queen as a Child for Her Birthday," 21 Apr. 2020 He was moved to action after the tragic death of a baby in his care who hadn’t been vaccinated against meningitis. Amelia Harnish, New York Times, "Fighting Vaccine Hesitancy, One Parent at a Time," 19 Apr. 2020 Three Georgia police officers found a newborn baby in the aftermath of a crash. Ally Mauch, PEOPLE.com, "Georgia Police Officers Rescue Newborn Baby Found Under Back Seat After Car Crash," 18 Apr. 2020 Zalants and her husband, who have a 9-month-old baby together, are having a house built outside Cincinnati. Cid Standifer, Cincinnati.com, "'It literally consumes everything I do': Ohioans desperate to reach unemployment hotline," 16 Apr. 2020 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 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 On a starlit night long ago, as the story goes, three wise men brought gifts to baby Jesus in a stable. Rachel Fobar, National Geographic, "Frankincense trees—of biblical lore—are being tapped out for essential oils," 13 Dec. 2019 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

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

11 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Baby.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/baby. Accessed 24 May. 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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