child·​like ˈchī(-ə)l(d)-ˌlīk How to pronounce childlike (audio)
: resembling, suggesting, or appropriate to a child or childhood
especially : marked by innocence, trust, and ingenuousness
childlike delight
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 Trending Viewed together, these works carry a distinctly childlike sense of play, accompanied by a kind of urgent primacy. Keegan Brady, Rolling Stone, 27 May 2023 The #nofilter Moussa can be disarmingly childlike and offensively straightforward, and Bouajila plays him like a zombie who’s been injected with too much truth serum. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Sep. 2022 The cut is childlike, but the colors are neutral and elegant. Mattie Kahn, Town & Country, 14 Jan. 2023 Examination of individual bones confirmed that the nose, cheeks, and jaw were all childlike. Richard Granger, Discover Magazine, 31 Oct. 2022 Some of the patterns may also be a little too childlike, but that’s a matter of personal preference. Mike Richard, Men's Health, 28 Oct. 2022 Some pieces wrestled with the turbulence and violence of the day, but others had a childlike quality. Neil Genzlinger,, 26 Dec. 2022 As Payne slips deeper into his sober analyst role, Curry appears to be playing with more childlike joy than ever. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, 30 Nov. 2022 Moving freely through this scenery called up a childlike joy. Tess Taylor, Condé Nast Traveler, 30 May 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'childlike.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1577, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of childlike was in 1577

Dictionary Entries Near childlike

Cite this Entry

“Childlike.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


child·​like ˈchīl(d)-ˌlīk How to pronounce childlike (audio)
: resembling, suggesting, or suitable to a child or childhood
: showing the more pleasing qualities (as innocence or trustfulness) often thought to be those of children
childlike delight

More from Merriam-Webster on childlike

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