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

He is survived by his wife, the former Diane Barber, a lawyer, as well as three children, two stepchildren, 13 grandchildren, one great-grandchild and a brother. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "‘Soot King’ Samuel Bodman Rejuvenated Chemical Firm and Served in Bush Cabinet," 28 Sep. 2018 Yet its art has often been considered an interesting but provincial stepchild of India’s. Lee Lawrence, WSJ, "‘The Jeweled Isle: Art From Sri Lanka’ Review: Reclaiming a Country’s Creative History," 1 Jan. 2019 The 34-year-old has a two-year-old son, Wolfie, from a previous relationship—meaning that if things get serious, there could be a royal stepchild in the mix. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Who Is Princess Beatrice's New Boyfriend, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi?," 20 Nov. 2018 The Air Force veteran is also mom to two very young kids and three older stepchildren. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "In a Record-Breaking Election Year for Women, Here Are the Races to Watch," 17 Sep. 2018 Family members—typically spouses and adult children—still provide the majority of care for the sick and aging, but as families become smaller and more far-flung, others are stepping in, including grandchildren, neighbors, stepchildren, and partners. Clare Ansberry, WSJ, "An Ex-Husband Moves Back In—for Cancer Care," 18 Aug. 2018 Williams, who has three stepchildren and five grandkids, depends on an automated savings account. Carmen Wong Ulrich, Good Housekeeping, "Spend Less, Give More," 15 Nov. 2011 Ott is survived by husband John M. Paulett, her stepchild Kelly (Craig) Mitchell and grandchild Hannah Mitchell. Kt Hawbaker,, "Sabina Ott, 'Artist Mother of Chicago,' dies at 62," 26 June 2018 No proceeds from the estate had been distributed to her four beneficiaries, according to court documents filed by an attorney on behalf of one of Doss’ stepchildren. Lauren Caruba, San Antonio Express-News, "Area school board member charged with felony theft, perjury," 8 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of stepchild

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

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Statistics for stepchild

Last Updated

31 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for stepchild

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

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More Definitions for stepchild



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

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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 reflect, repel, echo, or resound

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