lul·​la·​by | \ˈlə-lə-ˌbī \
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

becalm, calm, compose, lull, quiet, quieten [chiefly British], salve, settle, soothe, still, tranquilize (also tranquillize)

Antonyms: Verb

agitate, discompose, disquiet, disturb, key (up), perturb, upset, vex

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Examples of lullaby in a Sentence


reclining peacefully on the deck, lullabied by the gentle motion of the ship

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Simply plug the unit into any outlet, download the smartphone app, and select from 75 sounds that include white noise, fan sounds, nature sounds, and lullabies. Necee Regis,, "Here, there, and everywhere," 10 July 2018 The vocal writing is similarly evocative; Josephine’s high, florid lines recall Chinese opera, and dissonant harmonies of a lullaby sung by Danny’s mother also seem to come from another world. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘An American Soldier’ and ‘Regina’ Reviews: Prejudice and Power," 12 June 2018 Lin-Manuel Miranda sang a lullaby for children who had been separated from their parents. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Most Powerful Moments From the Families Belong Together Marches," 1 July 2018 The Hamilton creator sang a lullaby for the kids separated from their parents to the crowd. Krystin Arneson, Glamour, "Families Belong Together March: Watch Incredible Speeches by Diane Guerrero, Kerry Washington, America Ferrera, and More," 1 July 2018 Lin-Manuel Miranda sang a lullaby dedicated to immigrant families., "Women Are Leading The Fight For Immigrant Rights," 1 July 2018 Hamilton,’’ sang a lullaby dedicated to parents who are unable to sing to their children. Ellen Knickmeyer,, "Major cities, tiny towns host immigration policy protests," 30 June 2018 In 14 verses, Everson and Bourgeois bring to life a traditional lullaby, sung to children separated by space and time but with the same result – sweet dreams – for all. Monitor Staff, The Christian Science Monitor, "Voyages, animals, beauty for the youngest readers," 11 June 2018 Most lullabies in Japan were not for parents singing babies to sleep, but for such young women, crying out about their suffering, Takahata had said. Yuri Kageyama, USA TODAY, "Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata dies at 82," 6 Apr. 2018

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

The first known use of lullaby was in 1573

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More Definitions for lullaby



English Language Learners Definition of lullaby

: a song used to help a child fall asleep


lul·​la·​by | \ˈlə-lə-ˌbī \
plural lullabies

Kids Definition of lullaby

: a song for helping a baby or child fall asleep

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Comments on lullaby

What made you want to look up lullaby? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

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