step·​child | \ ˈstep-ˌchī(-ə)ld How to pronounce stepchild (audio) \

Definition of stepchild

1 : a child of one's wife or husband by a former partner
2 : one that fails to receive proper care or attention is no longer a stepchild in the family of nations— F. R. Smith

Examples of stepchild in a Sentence

The school has long been the forgotten stepchild of the state university system.
Recent Examples on the Web Survivors include four stepchildren and six grandchildren., "Dorothy Seymour Mills, who helped her husband Harold Seymour compile the first in-depth historical studies of baseball but who did not receive full credit for her research, editing, and writing until after his death, died Nov. 17 at a hospital in Tucson, Ariz. She was 91.," 22 Nov. 2019 Survivors include four stepchildren and six grandchildren. Matt Schudel, Washington Post, "Dorothy Seymour Mills, who received belated credit for husband’s baseball books, dies at 91," 21 Nov. 2019 Authorities are searching for an Idaho couple after the man’s ex-wife was found dead and his two stepchildren were reported missing — and relatives worry that the family may have joined a religious sect predicting the end of the world. Steve Helling,, "2 Siblings Have Been Missing Since Sept. — and Family Members Think Mom and Stepdad Joined Sect," 23 Dec. 2019 In addition to his wife of 31 years, of Pawleys Island, S.C., survivors include three stepchildren, Amy Frye and Jeffrey Gill, both of Eastham, Mass., and Kelly Gill of Genga, Italy; four sisters; four brothers; and six grandchildren. Emily Langer, Washington Post, "Bob Kinkead, celebrated Washington chef with flair for seafood, dies at 67," 17 Dec. 2019 Industrial M-B: 1994-99 As celebrated as the ball-in-glove logo has been, this is equally vilified as the ugly stepchild of the Brewers logo canon. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers logos through history: The good, the bad, the Barrelman," 18 Nov. 2019 In addition to his wife, Mr. Lyman’s survivors include three stepchildren, Charles, Corey, and Casey Goff. Dylan Loeb Mcclain,, "Shelby Lyman, unlikely star of Fischer-Spassky broadcast, dies at 82," 20 Aug. 2019 Her extended family includes four stepchildren, Linda Rankin, John Rankin (wife Nancy), Deborah Rankin, and Doug Rankin (wife Ann Reynolds); six step grandchildren; and seven step great-grandchildren., "Emily Wood Rankin," 23 June 2019 This point should be decisive because for decades local and state governments backed by the courts have treated the Fifth Amendment as the poor stepchild in the Bill of Rights. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Supreme Court’s Fifth Amendment Reclamation," 23 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stepchild.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of stepchild

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about stepchild

Time Traveler for stepchild

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for stepchild

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stepchild.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for stepchild


How to pronounce stepchild (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of stepchild

: your wife's or husband's child by a past marriage or relationship : a stepson or stepdaughter
: someone or something that does not receive enough care or attention

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on stepchild

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stepchild

Spanish Central: Translation of stepchild

Nglish: Translation of stepchild for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stepchild for Arabic Speakers

Comments on stepchild

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


to insert between existing elements

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!