child·​like | \ ˈchī(-ə)l(d)-ˌlīk How to pronounce childlike (audio) \

Definition of childlike

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Angela’s unformed sense of self is mirrored in the novel by Ruth’s childlike state. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 11 May 2022 Noah is smart and opinionated, with a sarcastic sense of humor and occasional bursts of childlike enthusiasm. Emily Mcclanathan,, 17 Apr. 2022 Those who loved him and were fortunate enough to share his orbit knew a person who was sweet, sensitive, surprisingly shy and filled with a childlike sense of playfulness and wonder. Mike Barnes, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 Apr. 2022 Playing him as a narcissistic peacock who still has a childlike sense of wonder, Garcia gives the artist delightful comic complexity. Matthew J. Palm,, 7 Mar. 2022 There’s an almost childlike sense of wonder and confusion as Alina tries remember something, anything, about her identity. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 13 Jan. 2022 Set around a conference table, the play offers a portrait not of an avuncular artist whose childlike imagination took over the world but of a megalomaniac who cannot brook dissent. Charles Mcnultytheater Critic, Los Angeles Times, 5 Apr. 2022 As Little Red Ridinghood, Jasmine January has a sense of childlike wonder and mischief. San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Mar. 2022 Watching the floats covered in flowers pass by has always sparked a childlike joy in my heart. oregonlive, 7 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of childlike

1577, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for childlike

Time Traveler

The first known use of childlike was in 1577

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Dictionary Entries Near childlike

child labor



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Statistics for childlike

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Childlike.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for childlike


child·​like | \ ˈchīld-ˌlīk How to pronounce childlike (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on childlike

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for childlike

Nglish: Translation of childlike for Spanish Speakers


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