Definition of child
- a play for both children and adults
- Under the law she is still a child.
- Do you have any children?
- the children of Israel
- a child of the streets
- a child of nature
- America has been called "the first child of the Enlightenment"
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.
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.
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.
First Known Use: before 12th centurySee Words from the same year
: a young person
: a son or daughter
: an adult who acts like a child : a childlike or childish person
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