\ ˈkresh How to pronounce crèche (audio) , ˈkrāsh How to pronounce crèche (audio) \

Definition of crèche

1 : a representation of the Nativity (see nativity sense 1) scene
3 : a foundling hospital
4 : a group of young animals (such as penguins or bats) gathered in one place for care and protection usually by one or more adults

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Did You Know?

She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a cratch. That may not sound like a familiar translation of Luke 2:7, but back in the 1300s, the substitution of cratch for manger probably wouldn't have raised any eyebrows. Back then spelling was imprecise, and several different words and spellings, including cratch, cracche, crache, and crecche, were used to describe a trough for holding feed for livestock or to identify the manger where Jesus was laid. By the late 18th century, crèche (which we borrowed from French and now sometimes spell without the accent mark) had displaced those older forms, and the word had lost its former "manger" meaning, coming to refer instead to a representation of the Nativity scene itself.

Examples of crèche in a Sentence

one of the first cities to establish crèches so that poor women with children could work outside of the home
Recent Examples on the Web California estate sales last July netted two lighted Christmas trees and a giant creche to add to my collection of too many, according to you know who. azcentral, "Inside the Peoria home of an extreme holiday decorator. Take a look," 28 Nov. 2019 What was life like before this mobile creche was established? Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, "We’re facing a global childcare shortage—and women and children are paying the price," 11 Sep. 2019 The wider perspective is mine: More than 100 children died of encephalitis in just one hospital, their deaths preceded by malnutrition, which obviously has not been addressed at substandard creches and health centres. Samar Halarnkar, Quartz India, "India’s battling one crisis after another, but parliament and media are obsessed with the irrelevant," 24 June 2019 The Australian airline has dropped the notion of rolling out bunks, beds, a gym, or even a creche for passengers traveling on the world’s longest commercial flight. Angus Whitley,, "World’s longest flight — Sydney to London — to be even less comfortable than expected," 5 June 2019 While Maria was in action at the grass-court tournament, her 4-year-old daughter, Charlotte, spent her days at what the All England Club calls the competitors’ creche, essentially a nursery for children of players and coaches. Howard Fendrich,, "Serena Williams vs. Evgeniya Rodina: Mom vs. Mom," 8 July 2018 Zvonareva’s 2-year-old, Evelyn, spent time at the creche, too, while Mom played at Wimbledon for the first time since 2014. Howard Fendrich,, "Serena Williams vs. Evgeniya Rodina: Mom vs. Mom," 8 July 2018 The scene is a replica of the life-sized creche located in Cathedral Square in downtown Vilnius. Deutsche Welle, USA TODAY, "Lithuania sends Pope Francis 'world's smallest' nativity scene for Christmas," 22 Dec. 2017 The gate has been secured, surveillance cameras are in place, and Caine will remain in a room at the church that overlooks Ginger and the creche. Barbara Boyer,, "With Stormy the cow back at the farm, Old City's nativity goes on with Ginger the heifer," 21 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crèche.' 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 crèche

1792, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for crèche

French, from Old French creche manger, crib, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German krippa manger — more at crib

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Time Traveler for crèche

Time Traveler

The first known use of crèche was in 1792

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Cite this Entry

“Crèche.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for crèche


How to pronounce crèche (audio) How to pronounce crèche (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of crèche

US : a set of statues that represents the scene of Jesus Christ's birth and that is displayed during Christmas
British : a place where young children are cared for during the day while their parents are working : a day care center


\ ˈkresh, ˈkrāsh \

Medical Definition of crèche

2 : a foundling hospital

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