Definition of child
childrenplay \ˈchil-drən, -dərn\
1a : an unborn or recently born personb dialect : a female infant
2a : a young person especially between infancy and youth a play for both children and adultsb : a childlike or childish person He is a child in most business matters.c : a person not yet of age Under the law she is still a child.
3 usually childe play \ˈchī(-ə)ld\ archaic : a youth of noble birth
4a : a son or daughter of human parents Do you have any children?b : descendant the children of Israel
5 : one strongly influenced by another or by a place or state of affairs a child of the streets a child of nature America has been called “the first child of the Enlightenment”
childlessplay \ˈchī(-ə)l(d)-ləs\ adjective
Examples of child in a Sentence
the birth of a child
She's pregnant with their first child.
a play for both children and adults
All of their children are grown now.
an elderly couple and their adult children
Men are such children sometimes.
Recent Examples of child from the Web
The company is compensating families and will pay for the education of victims’ children.
Health center to host back to school event Marram Health Center is hosting a Back to School event to provide school and sports physicals for children through Aug. 12 at 3229 Broadway, Suite 205, Gary.
Nov. 10, 2016: Rob and Chyna welcome their first child together — a daughter named Dream Renée, who already has her own Instagram account.
Eligibility for pregnant women and children was raised to 138 percent of poverty as far back as the 1970s and ’80s.
In 1802, a political journalist made a claim in a Richmond newspaper that Jefferson had fathered several children with her.
The biggest spending cuts hit the Medicaid program, which provides health coverage for low-income children and adults, including paying for nearly half of all births and much of the cost of nursing home care.
Her children spread her genetic legacy through the Neandertal lineage, and in time her African mtDNA completely replaced the ancestral Neandertal mtDNA.
On the women's side, the field appears wide open with the absence of Serena Williams, who is expecting her first child.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'child'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Is the word kid slang?
Some people worry that kid, when used of a child rather than a juvenile goat, is either slang or too colloquial to merit acceptance in standard English.
The fact is that we have been using kid to refer to a child that is human, rather than goatish, for more than three hundred years now. The Oxford English Dictionary notes that although this word was considered “low slang” when it first began being used, it had entered “familiar speech” by the 19th century.
In contemporary English, kid is neither slang nor improper. It is, however, most definitely informal, so those writing professionally or in a formal register might prefer to use child.
Origin and Etymology of child
Middle English, from Old English cild; akin to Goth kilthei womb, and perhaps to Sanskrit jaṭhara belly
First Known Use: before 12th centurySee Words from the same year
Definition of Child
Francis James 1825–1896 American ballad editor
Definition of Child
Julia (Carolyn) 1912–2004 née McWilliams American chef
CHILD Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of child for English Language Learners
: a young person
: a son or daughter
: an adult who acts like a child : a childlike or childish person
CHILD Defined for Kids
Definition of child for Students
1 : an unborn or recently born person
2 : a young person of either sex between infancy and youth
3 : a son or daughter of any age My children are grown now.
Legal Definition of child
1 : a son or daughter of any age and usually including one formally adopted — compare issue Editor's note: The word child as used in a statute or will is often held to include a stepchild, an illegitimate child, a person for whom one stands in loco parentis, or sometimes a more remote descendant, such as a grandchild. In interpreting the word child as used in a will, the court will try to effectuate the intent of the person who made the will as it can be determined from the language of the will.
Additional Notes on child
A person who is below the statutory age but is married will usually be considered an adult.
Seen and Heard
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