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

Amy is moving abroad but has agreed to stay on to help following the birth of her baby. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Why Amy Pickerill, Meghan Markle's Top Royal Aide, Is Quitting Her Job With the Duchess," 9 Mar. 2019 Meghan Markle, who is over seven months pregnant with her first child with Prince Harry, joked about her baby kicking during an International Women's Day panel today. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Jokes About Her Baby Kicking During an International Women's Day Panel," 8 Mar. 2019 People have even named their babies after characters on the show. Lindsey O'connell, Woman's Day, "Exclusive! Watch a Sneak Peek of Hallmark Channel’s 'When Calls The Heart'," 28 Feb. 2019 Driving the increase is traditional Medicare, which is experiencing an enrollment surge as aging baby boomers shift out of private coverage. Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, The Seattle Times, "Government headed for close to half of nation’s health tab," 20 Feb. 2019 Google's note hits at a larger, disconcerting theme: Data breaches and hacks are rampant, and merely having an email account could potentially compromise the security of a camera pointed at your baby's crib. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Google Warns Nest Users to Update Security Settings After Uptick of Hacked Cameras," 6 Feb. 2019 When the recession hit in 2007, the baby boomers were in their 50s and early 60s. Eric Morath, WSJ, "America’s Hidden Workforce Returns," 26 Jan. 2019 The rate of liver cancer incidence is rising faster than that for any other cancer — a trend the American Cancer Society attributes to the high rate of undiagnosed hepatitis C among baby boomers. Julia Belluz, Vox, "We’re making real progress against cancer. But you may not know it if you’re poor.," 8 Jan. 2019 Gunn is remembered by local baby boomers as the 1968 University of Washington student body president at a time of cultural change at the school. Erik Lacitis, The Seattle Times, "‘Bucolic’ Whidbey Island surprised at skinhead headlines — and recent Lynnwood assault," 31 Dec. 2018

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 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 Since giving birth to baby True back in April 2018, Kardashian has seemingly been working out a lot. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Khloé Kardashian Is Considering Having Two More Kids with Tristan Thompson," 7 July 2018 Given that starting pitchers are babied beyond belief, shouldn’t baseball change its dubious Quality Start stat? Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Paul Daugherty's Morning Line: Cincinnati Reds need the off day, and other MLB thoughts," 12 July 2018 Joanna Gaines Reveals All Her Pregnancy Cravings: Fast Food, Fruity Pebbles and Candy! While Crew was used for a handful of baby girls last year and as a word name is not traditionally gendered, it is given predominantly to baby boys. Pamela Redmond Satran, PEOPLE.com, "Crew Gaines: The Meaning Behind Chip and Joanna's New Baby Boy's Name," 24 June 2018 The video shows Joey's life as a mom to baby Indiana and wife to Rory. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "Joey Feek's Family and Fans Create Heartbreaking Tributes to Her Life and Legacy," 14 Mar. 2016 As with many other conditions, warding off seborrheic dermatitis involves babying your skin while using the right combination of products to make your skin behave as well as possible. Korin Miller, SELF, "5 Types of Eczema You Should Know, Because There’s Actually More Than One," 31 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

17 Mar 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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