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

The real-life Mark comes off as a good guy with a checkered past, not so much childlike as shaky in his grip on adulthood. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Welcome to Marwen’ Review: An Excess of Fantasy," 20 Dec. 2018 That piece happened to be a recreation of her young son’s notebook, but there’s a childlike quality to all such art. Dan Duray, ELLE Decor, "Is Nostalgia in the Art World Ever a Good Thing?," 29 Aug. 2018 Lucia Bok is a magnetic woman who approaches life with a sparkling grandiosity, childlike and impulsive. Steph Cha, USA TODAY, "Two sisters, bound by love and mental illness, in 'Beautiful' debut novel," 16 Jan. 2018 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

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

29 Jan 2019

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for childlike

Spanish Central: Translation of childlike

Nglish: Translation of childlike for Spanish Speakers

Comments on childlike

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excited commotion or publicity

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