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 Getting put into the story ignited my sense of childlike wonder, something that was more readily accomplished on the ride vs. passively watching a film. Drake Wilson, Sunset Magazine, "Star Wars Newbie Reviews Disneyland’s Newest Attraction: Rise of the Resistance," 11 Feb. 2020 King played Gypsy Blanchard, a woman whose abusive mother keeps her permanently sick and childlike on the show based on a true story. Washington Post, "The Latest: ‘When They See Us’ star wept at Emmy nomination," 16 July 2019 This allegory about Chauncey Gardener — a childlike cipher who becomes a shamanic adviser to Washington’s elite — feels exceptionally well suited for the present moment. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, "The 34 best political movies ever made," 23 Jan. 2020 Getty Images More fun for children—or the childlike—comes at the Richmond Olympic Oval. Naomi Tomky, Fortune, "One of the best places to celebrate Lunar New Year is just outside Vancouver," 18 Jan. 2020 In Skype conversations with mathematician Spyridon Michalakis, physicist Ana Asenjo and Xbox co-creator Seamus Blackley, Cruz-Diez all but jumps out of his seat with childlike eagerness for a solution. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Free Color': Film Review| Palm Springs 2020," 10 Jan. 2020 When Bamford is addressing one person, her comedic style—a childlike speaking voice intercut with squawks, growls, and a sultry baritone—both softens and intensifies. Lizzie Feidelson, The New Yorker, "Maria Bamford Melds Speed Dating and Standup Comedy," 30 Dec. 2019 These creatures exist on the other end of the Studio Ghibli spectrum, far away from the childlike light of their other projects. Nick Romano,, "Studio Ghibli: A beginner's guide through the worlds of Spirited Away, Mononoke, and beyond," 24 Dec. 2019 They were still amped from a photo shoot and full of childlike excitement. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Krewella Announce 'Zer0' Album: 'We Want People to Feel Like They're Part Of Something Big'," 3 Dec. 2019

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

26 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Childlike.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for childlike


How to pronounce childlike (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on childlike

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for childlike

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with childlike

Spanish Central: Translation of childlike

Nglish: Translation of childlike for Spanish Speakers

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