step·child | \ˈstep-ˌchī(-ə)ld \

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

Bush soaped down her new stepchildren and outfitted them with her own kids’ clothes. Gillian Brockell, Washington Post, "Abraham Lincoln’s ‘angel mother’ and the second ‘mama’ who outlived him," 12 May 2018 Martin-Edmonds, who recently remarried and gained four stepchildren, calls Dudan and Cranfill her heroes. Maureen C. Gilmer, Indianapolis Star, "A chance meeting with 'Undercover Boss' changed Indianapolis woman's life," 26 June 2018 Lashley is married and has four children, two of them stepchildren. Dave Southorn, idahostatesman, "Boise State football preparing to play both of its true freshmen at running back," 6 June 2018 Foster has five daughters and multiple stepchildren from his previous relationships, some of whom are older than McPhee. Allie Jones, The Cut, "Is Selena Gomez Okay?," 10 July 2018 The region is, in many ways, a stepchild, a place where most people trace their ethnic roots to Myanmar or China, and where a thicket of separatist militias have waged decades-long fights for independence. Yirmiyan Arthur, Fox News, "In cricket-mad India, 1 distant corner is crazy for soccer," 29 June 2018 Among his other survivors are two stepchildren, Kyle Andrews (Pam) of Englewood, Fla., and Julie Sutton (Jim) of Lakeside; seven grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren. John Wilkens,, "Robert Vogler Jr., Bataan Death March survivor who made peace with the Japanese, dies at 97," 8 June 2018 Additional survivors include six stepchildren; two sisters; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "Naomi Parker Fraley, wartime machinist linked to Rosie the Riveter, dies at 96," 23 Jan. 2018 Dear Amy: My son's ex-wife remarried and now has two stepchildren, along with her daughter (with my son). Amy Dickinson,, "Wounded woman worries about inability to love," 29 Apr. 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

10 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for stepchild

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

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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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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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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