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

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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 middle-aged bird-watchers started jumping up and down with childlike joy. Richard Chin, Star Tribune, "For American birders seeking rare owls, Minnesota in winter is a hot destination," 31 Mar. 2021 Auburn’s new defensive coordinator has had a childlike wonderment while toying with his defensive scheme and how to adapt it to the Tigers’ personnel, especially in the front seven. Tom Green |, al, "What we’ve learned through 2 weeks of Auburn’s spring football practice," 29 Mar. 2021 Female foreheads are more vertical than male foreheads, which gives the former a childlike appearance, Ross says. Anna Kuchment, Scientific American, "Cold Cases: Scientists use a variety of tools to help them identify human remains [Slide Show]," 16 Oct. 2011 With her childlike intensity, Klara evinces a kind of devotion that could sound preprogrammed, like listening to the reassuring voice of an automatic telephone operator for 300 pages. Washington Post, "In Kazuo Ishiguro’s ‘Klara and the Sun,’ a robot tries to make sense of humanity," 2 Mar. 2021 Despite it all, Vanderbilt maintained a childlike quality, an inherent curiosity that manifested in her art. al, "Gloria Vanderbilt artwork on display at Huntsville Museum of Art," 30 Dec. 2020 Avalanches of greeting cards, unexpected warm smiles from passersby, the ringing of bells, the singing of carols, a childlike awe at lights in the darkness—all serve to induce a sensation of good cheer. James Matthew Wilson, WSJ, "Finding the Sacred in the Delights of Christmas," 24 Dec. 2020 Rejoice in every touch of childlike whimsy and take delight in imaginative ideas. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Dec. 24, 2020: Sagittarius, choose a grateful attitude; Aquarius, make time for yourself," 24 Dec. 2020 That work, also now on view, depicts several animals of indeterminate species, monumental in scale yet drawn with a childlike simplicity of line and shape. Bruce Handy, The New Yorker, "Can Kid Art Be Real Art?," 14 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for childlike

Time Traveler

The first known use of childlike was in 1577

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Statistics for childlike

Last Updated

11 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Childlike.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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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 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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