child·​like | \ˈchī(-ə)l(d)-ˌlīk \

Definition of childlike 

: resembling, suggesting, or appropriate to a child or childhood especially : marked by innocence, trust, and ingenuousness childlike delight

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Other Words from childlike

childlikeness noun

Examples of childlike in a Sentence

a grown woman with a childlike face We gazed at it in childlike wonder. She took a childlike glee in describing every detail.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Aries, March 21–April 19 As the first sign in the zodiac circle, Aries has a youthful, childlike energy that needs to be released in a healthy way. Alice Bell, Vogue, "The Best Gifts for Every Astrological Sign on Your List," 26 Nov. 2018 My sour attitude was transformed into one of childlike wonder. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Benedict Cumberbatch voices the Grinch in the new movie. It’s pretty fun!," 9 Nov. 2018 Impressive editing is paired with the childlike acting and lip-synching the app and its challenges call for. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "In defense of TikTok, the joyful, slightly cringe-inducing spiritual successor to Vine," 5 Nov. 2018 Ewan McGregor stars as a grown-up Christopher Robin looking to Pooh and pals to restore his childlike wonder. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Disney's Live-Action Aladdin Remake Already Has a Teaser Trailer," 12 Oct. 2018 So do the characters, who are forever defined by the same negative traits: high-strung and selfish Helen, childlike and narcissistic Noah, touchy and paranoid Cole, depressed and unstable Alison. Mike Hale, New York Times, "Review: ‘The Affair’ Is Back, and Things Are About to Get Crazy. Again.," 14 June 2018 The play is a showcase for Mark Rylance’s star turn as Philip, and while Rylance, nominated this year for Best Lead Actor in a Play, is as brilliant as ever — by turns childlike and terrifying — he’s supported by a uniformly strong cast. Constance Grady, Vox, "Your guide to the 17 most important nominees at this year’s Tonys," 7 June 2018 Sable won't match that scale, but the wonder, the creative landscapes, the sense of childlike joy? Julie Muncy, WIRED, "The Most Promising Indie Games That Showed Up at E3," 18 June 2018 And the answer seems to be that childlike voices will serve as a tonic to adult despair and anxiety. Toby Zinman,, "'Red Bike' by Simpatico Theatre: Dreary outlook, tedious play," 11 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'childlike.' 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 childlike

1577, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for childlike

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for childlike

The first known use of childlike was in 1577

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More Definitions for childlike



English Language Learners Definition of childlike

: resembling or suggesting a child : like that of a child; especially : having or showing the pleasing qualities (such as innocence) that children often have


child·​like | \ˈchīld-ˌlīk \

Kids Definition of childlike

1 : like that of a child a childlike voice

2 : showing the more pleasing qualities (as innocence and trustfulness) often thought to be those of children childlike wonder

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More from Merriam-Webster on childlike

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with childlike

Spanish Central: Translation of childlike

Nglish: Translation of childlike for Spanish Speakers

Comments on childlike

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living or existing for a long time

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