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

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 Under Prince Albert and Princess Charlene, the party has grown considerably, and the palace courtyard is already set with a large tree, lifesize creche and festive booths where local children will be treated to the party's traditions of ginger spiced cookies and a secret recipe of hot chocolate. Peter Mikelbank, Peoplemag, 15 Dec. 2023 Meus sentimentos e preces para as famílias das vítimas e comunidade de Blumenau diante da monstruosidade ocorrida na creche Bom Pastor. Marina Dias, Washington Post, 5 Apr. 2023 Exotic costumes and artifacts and non-European peoples give 18th-century Neapolitan creche scenes, such as that at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, their enduring fascination. Keith Christiansen, WSJ, 23 Dec. 2022 These two are youngsters, left behind at a feeding creche. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 3 Apr. 2010 The plant has a creche and worship rooms with a capacity of processing up to 20 metric tonnes of shea a month. Kate Hardcastle, Forbes, 25 Mar. 2022 We were supposed to be the family that carried the Christ Child to the creche at Most Holy Redeemer that year. Kevin Fisher-Paulson, San Francisco Chronicle, 21 Dec. 2021 The original putz villages were created by children and families who would gather sticks, leaves, and other natural elements to create a scene around the creche. Better Homes & Gardens, 29 Nov. 2021 Some Tata Motors factories provide creche facilities for women with kids. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, 13 Sep. 2021 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1792, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of crèche was in 1792


Dictionary Entries Near crèche

Cite this Entry

“Crèche.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cr%C3%A8che. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a scene representing the Nativity in the stable at Bethlehem

Medical Definition


ˈkresh, ˈkrāsh
: a foundling hospital
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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