lul·​la·​by | \ ˈlə-lə-ˌbī How to pronounce lullaby (audio) \
plural lullabies

Definition of lullaby

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a soothing refrain specifically : a song to quiet children or lull them to sleep


lullabied; lullabying

Definition of lullaby (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to quiet with or as if with a lullaby

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Synonyms & Antonyms for lullaby

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of lullaby in a Sentence

Verb reclining peacefully on the deck, lullabied by the gentle motion of the ship
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Friends and relatives cuddle and play with her, singing soothing lullabies. J.w., The Economist, "“For Sama” is a love letter to Aleppo and its people," 12 Sep. 2019 Freshly back from maternity leave, Albers shaped the Adagio into a lovely lullaby with an undertow of worry before bursting into an extraordinarily fleet finale, her agile fingers flying, her adrenalin contagious. Rob Hubbard, Twin Cities, "Review: SPCO cellists shine on a concert full of grand finales," 6 Dec. 2019 In one part of the study, online amateur listeners were asked to categorize random music samples as lullabies, dance songs, healing songs, or love songs. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian, "Scientists Show Humans May Share a ‘Musical Grammar’," 27 Nov. 2019 Maybe there are echoes of Chinese voices in this song — Chinese minor keys, lullabies, countryside ballads, mountaintop wails. Anne Liu Kellor, Longreads, "Keeping My Promise to Popo," 18 Sep. 2019 But little do my fellow passengers know what’s coming: an extra-special lullaby from my 14-month-old son Miles, who decides that, why yes, this is the perfect moment to sing at the top of his lungs. Sarah Firshein, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Survive a Red-Eye Flight With a Baby," 13 Sep. 2019 From the first soothing lullabies babies hear to the funereal dirges that accompany the deceased, music is a fixture of the human experience. Jim Daley, Scientific American, "What Makes a Song? It’s the Same Recipe in Every Culture," 21 Nov. 2019 The song has been featured on many children's albums or collections of lullabies and softer songs. Paul Grein, Billboard, "In Praise of 'Rainbow Connection': The Little Song That Could," 15 Nov. 2019 Emily Mortimer sings a lullaby written by Steven Laney of the Underhill Family Orchestra. al, "Alabama band gets showcase in new Stephen King film ‘Dr. Sleep’," 1 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The original is lullaby-like in its simple softness and was fittingly featured in Richard Linklater's epic 2014 film Boyhood. Natalie Maher, Billboard, "Forest Blakk Gives Family of the Year's 'Hero' a Ballad-Like Spin: Exclusive," 13 Mar. 2018

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


1573, in the meaning defined above


1576, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lullaby


obsolete English lulla, interjection used to lull a child (from Middle English) + bye, interjection used to lull a child, from Middle English by

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Time Traveler for lullaby

Time Traveler

The first known use of lullaby was in 1573

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Statistics for lullaby

Last Updated

5 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lullaby.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More Definitions for lullaby


How to pronounce lullaby (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of lullaby

: a song used to help a child fall asleep


lul·​la·​by | \ ˈlə-lə-ˌbī How to pronounce lullaby (audio) \
plural lullabies

Kids Definition of lullaby

: a song for helping a baby or child fall asleep

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More from Merriam-Webster on lullaby

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lullaby

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lullaby

Spanish Central: Translation of lullaby

Nglish: Translation of lullaby for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lullaby for Arabic Speakers

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