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 Cows munch lazily on hay; newborn piglets suckle their mothers’ teats. Ken Budd, Washington Post, "I spent time in a Kenyan orphanage hoping to make a difference. But was I really helping?," 6 Nov. 2019 While her infant suckled at a bottle on the dining room table, Martinez, 35, used her phone to navigate the website of the Denver Housing Authority. Andrew Kenney, The Denver Post, "For 1 in 21 applicants, Section 8 can change lives," 20 Sep. 2019 But once the new restaurant is up and running, Lamagna hopes to roll out a double-rotisserie rig once a month or so and cook lechon, the deeply bronzed roasted suckling pigs. Michael Russell,, "Modern Filipino restaurant Magna opens next week in Southeast Portland," 9 Aug. 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for suckle

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for suckle

Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Suckle.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 7 December 2019.

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More Definitions for suckle


How to pronounce suckle (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for suckle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with suckle

Spanish Central: Translation of suckle

Nglish: Translation of suckle for Spanish Speakers

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