suck·​le | \ ˈsə-kəl How to pronounce suckle (audio) \
suckled; suckling\ ˈsə-​k(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce suckling (audio) \

Definition of suckle

transitive verb

1a : to give milk to from the breast or udder a mother suckling her child
b : to nurture as if by giving milk from the breast was suckled on pulp magazines
2 : to draw milk from the breast or udder of lambs suckling the ewes

intransitive verb

: to draw milk from the breast or udder

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Examples of suckle in a Sentence

a cat suckling her kittens the image of a mother suckling her babe is a standard artistic symbol of maternal love and nurturing

Recent Examples on the Web

The specialities are suckling pig, lamb, and some beef. NBC News, "What the 'Blue Zone' island of Sardinia can teach us about living longer," 10 June 2019 That some talented scientists would rather seek private-sector jobs in Washington than continue to suckle the taxpayer teat in Kansas City is, in my book, a welcome side effect. Declan Leary, National Review, "The Republican Plan to Drain the Swamp," 23 July 2019 Xiang and his colleagues found that over the course of five birth seasons, more than 87 percent of infants suckled from females that were not their mothers. National Geographic, "Why do these monkeys nurse each other’s babies?," 22 Feb. 2019 Hundreds of piglets — some even just a few hours after birth — are suckling, squealing and jumping around in their pens. Casey Smith, Indianapolis Star, "I took a tour of Fair Oaks Farms. Here's what I saw.," 10 June 2019 If Greece was founded by a princess raped by a bull, Rome was founded by a baby suckled by a she-wolf. Simon Jenkins, Harper's magazine, "Occidents Happen," 10 Apr. 2019 Nipples provide no benefit to males, yet mammals have maintained them since the origin of suckling around 200 million years ago. Richard Wrangham, WSJ, "Humans: The Domesticated Primates," 10 Jan. 2019 Inside, pregnant women and new moms relaxed into pastel poufs; three-week-old babies suckled not far from a two-year-old; a lactation coach suggested alternate positions for a better latch. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "The Breastfeeding Movement Is Experiencing a Tech Revolution—Here's How It's Helping New Moms," 11 Sep. 2018 Studies show that in addition to helping babies sleep, lullabies can slow their heart rates, reduce stress, increase their ability to suckle effectively and decrease colic and crying. Malia Wollan, New York Times, "How to Sing a Lullaby," 2 May 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for suckle

Middle English suklen, probably back-formation from suklyng

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Statistics for suckle

Last Updated

12 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for suckle

The first known use of suckle was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for suckle



English Language Learners Definition of suckle

: to give (a baby or young animal) milk from a breast or from an udder


suck·​le | \ ˈsə-kəl How to pronounce suckle (audio) \
suckled; suckling

Kids Definition of suckle

: to feed from the breast or udder
suck·​le | \ ˈsək-əl How to pronounce suckle (audio) \
suckled; suckling\ -​(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce suckling (audio) \

Medical Definition of suckle

1 : to give milk to from the breast or udder a mother suckling her child
2 : to draw milk from the breast or udder of

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More from Merriam-Webster on suckle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with suckle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for suckle

Spanish Central: Translation of suckle

Nglish: Translation of suckle for Spanish Speakers

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