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

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 There is not an English footballer since Gazza who has possessed that childlike fearlessness and overpowering desire to dribble with the ball and take the game on., "6 Players That Never Grew Up," 24 June 2018 While all video games are in some way about imagination, Captain Spirit really captures the childlike wonder of creating new realities. Kyle Orland, Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "The top ten games from E3 2018," 19 June 2018 His divisive speech and his childlike antics have made a spectacle of the nation’s highest office. Dahleen Glanton,, "Even Trump's opponents need him to succeed in North Korea," 11 June 2018 Leonardi’s bird portraits are in an elongated Renaissance style and infused with childlike charm. Adrian Higgins, sacbee, "Fertilize your creative spirit with these gardening books," 8 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

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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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Comments on childlike

What made you want to look up childlike? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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