cradle

noun
cra·​dle | \ ˈkrā-dᵊl How to pronounce cradle (audio) \

Definition of cradle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a bed or cot for a baby usually on rockers or pivots
b : a framework or support suggestive of a baby's cradle: such as
(1) : a framework of bars and rods
(2) : the support for a telephone receiver or handset
(3) : a charging station for a device (such as a smartphone or tablet)
c : an implement with rods like fingers attached to a scythe and used formerly for harvesting grain
d : a frame to keep the bedclothes from contact with an injured part of the body
2a : the earliest period of life : infancy from the cradle to the grave
b : a place of origin the cradle of civilization
3 : a rocking device used in panning for gold

cradle

verb
cradled; cradling\ ˈkrād-​liŋ How to pronounce cradling (audio) , ˈkrā-​dᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of cradle (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to place or keep in or as if in a cradle
b : shelter, rear
c : to support protectively or intimately cradling the injured man's head in her arms
2 : to cut (grain) with a cradle scythe
3 : to place, raise, support, or transport on a cradle

intransitive verb

obsolete : to rest in or as if in a cradle

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Examples of cradle in a Sentence

Noun

She placed the phone back on its cradle. A number of ships were resting in their cradles in the shipyard.

Verb

He cradled her face in his hands. She was cradling the injured man's head in her arms.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Curry, a cradle Episcopalian (his father was an Episcopal priest), is often mistaken for a Baptist. Randall Balmer, Washington Post, "‘Love is the only way’: How a black preacher’s royal wedding address showed the power of a good sermon," 21 May 2018 During the 4-hour, 10 minute extravehicular activity, both astronauts attached tethers to their suits and worked with the cradle that supported the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, the first of its kind to launch. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "Astronaut Don Peterson, who performed first shuttle spacewalk, dead at 84," 29 May 2018 Not many parents, thank God, see a child lie in both his cradle and his coffin. Gayle Somers, WSJ, "Life Is Worth Living, Even if It Is Painful and Short," 21 Dec. 2018 Humanity’s cradle and its future among the stars share the vista. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "NASA says it’s building a gateway to the Moon—critics say it’s just a gate," 6 Sep. 2018 In Henan, meeting spots closed, banners removed At the epicenter of the drive to control the Christian community in China is Henan, the cradle of Chinese civilization and the entry point for many of the earliest foreign missionaries. Yanan Wang, The Seattle Times, "‘We must pay so dearly’: China’s churches raided, silenced," 7 Aug. 2018 Their first-to-market advantage could displace Silicon Valley and other U.S. tech cradles. Robert M. Mcdowell, WSJ, "To Boost 5G, Keep the Industry Free," 27 Sep. 2018 Two OceanGate boats, a big UW research towing vessel and a small inflatable craft zoomed in, helping to guide the sub onto a cradle on a barge that is used to tow the submersible around. Katherine Long, The Seattle Times, "In a five-person submarine, scientists in Friday Harbor unravel the mysteries of the Salish Sea," 16 Sep. 2018 Nine sacred artifacts that an explorer plundered from the tribe in the 1800s, including burial masks and a cradle, are finally returning home after being stored at a museum in Germany. Elizabeth Elkin And Saeed Ahmed, CNN, "Nine sacred artifacts stolen from a Native American tribe are finally returned over 100 years later," 11 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

As the Duke and Duchess walked along the jetty together, Meghan could be seen cradling her baby bump, while Harry clasped her other hand tightly. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Cradling Her Baby Bump on Fraser Island Is the Sweetest Thing You'll See All Day," 22 Oct. 2018 In the campaign, Harry Styles is seen cradling a baby pig and communing with a little lamb. Ella Riley-adams, Vogue, "Are Pigs the New It Pet? Ariana Grande and Gucci’s Alessandro Michele Say Yes," 28 Sep. 2018 Turner, 22, was seen cradling her head as Jonas consoled her. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "'Games of Thrones' star Sophie Turner reveals why she was seen crying while out with Joe Jonas," 17 Aug. 2018 August 7, 2018: In the video, Kylie is a sparkling, golden goddess, first seen cradling Travis' head. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "A Complete Timeline of Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott's Relationship," 8 Aug. 2018 Her grandmother, Irene Gómez Diaz, 41, lay awake cradling her daughter, Sol Valentin, 8. Todd Heisler, New York Times, "A Long Journey North for Migrants That May End Where It Started," 30 June 2018 Finally there is Juan Romero, an old man today, who as a young busboy cradled Kennedy’s head in his hands after he was shot and gave Bobby a rosary from his pocket. Randy Blaser, chicagotribune.com, "Column: RFK documentary strikes at core of Baby Boomers' loss of innocence," 9 May 2018 On the white marble counter, a shiny red Berkel slicer cradles a tower of mortadella. Jay Cheshes, WSJ, "Chef Massimo Bottura’s New Italian Inn," 5 Feb. 2019 On Friday, the Dawson's Creek star shared a photo of himself and Kimberly cradling a napping Gwendolyn, describing in the caption their experiences with multiple miscarriages and making a thoughtful case for renaming the tragic event. Andrea Park, Allure, "James Van Der Beek Opened Up About Wife Kimberly Brook's 3 Miscarriages In a Heartfelt Instagram Post," 10 Sep. 2018

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

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for cradle

Noun

Middle English cradel, from Old English cradol; perhaps akin to Old High German kratto basket, Sanskrit grantha knot

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Statistics for cradle

Last Updated

22 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cradle

The first known use of cradle was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for cradle

cradle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cradle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a bed for a baby that is usually designed to rock back and forth when pushed gently
formal : the place where something begins
: something that is used to hold or support something else

cradle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of cradle (Entry 2 of 2)

: to hold (something or someone) gently in your arms or hands

cradle

noun
cra·​dle | \ ˈkrā-dᵊl How to pronounce cradle (audio) \

Kids Definition of cradle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a baby's bed usually on rockers
2 : place of beginning the cradle of civilization
3 : the earliest period of life I was pampered from the cradle.
4 : a framework or support resembling a baby's bed in appearance or use a phone's cradle

cradle

verb
cradled; cradling

Kids Definition of cradle (Entry 2 of 2)

: to hold or support in or as if in a cradle She cradled my head in her arms.

cradle

noun
cra·​dle | \ ˈkrād-ᵊl How to pronounce cradle (audio) \

Medical Definition of cradle

1 : a bed or cot for a baby usually on rockers or pivots
2a : a frame to keep the bedclothes from contact with an injured part of the body
b : a frame placed on the neck of an animal to keep it from biting an injury or sore

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More from Merriam-Webster on cradle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cradle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cradle

Spanish Central: Translation of cradle

Nglish: Translation of cradle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cradle for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cradle

Comments on cradle

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