Definition of baby in English:



  • 1A very young child.

    ‘his wife's just had a baby’
    [as modifier] ‘a baby girl’
    • ‘The quadruplets, two boys and two girl babies, are also Niloufer Hospital's first.’
    • ‘You see babies and you see infants - tiny, tiny babies, some as young as a week old.’
    • ‘I decided to make up names for the family; pretend they were mine, the girl and the babies were my younger siblings, and the man and woman were my mother and father.’
    • ‘Does smoking during pregnancy cause other problems in babies or young children?’
    • ‘Because of the children and the difficulties of taking a tiny baby and a young toddler together up and down the stairs, she did not get out much.’
    • ‘The theme of ‘the four ages of dental health’ will explore problems faced by babies, children, teenagers and the elderly.’
    • ‘I suppose there may have been men, women, girls, boys, babies among them, but I saw no faces.’
    • ‘Lydia didn't even want a baby; boy or girl, name or no name, what did it matter to her?’
    • ‘The ultrasound probe is used mainly for head scanning of newborn babies and young children.’
    • ‘The equipment and funds help save the lives of newborn babies and young children with congenital heart disease.’
    • ‘They now believe even younger babies, even tinier tots can be encouraged to give life a go.’
    • ‘You know how to tell a boy baby from a girl baby without having to look at their genitalia?’
    • ‘This is to prevent staff and visitors from accidentally referring to boy babies as girls, and vice versa.’
    • ‘There were old and young people, little boys and girls, teenagers and babies in prams.’
    • ‘As they looked at their tiny newborn babies, these brave young survivors felt a powerful surge of protection.’
    • ‘And she opens up to showbiz tonight about being grandma to Gwyneth Paltrow's baby daughter.’
    • ‘This age range is the hardest to find carers for as most people choose to provide foster care for babies and young children.’
    • ‘The father and mother held on to two babies while a young girl sat in front of them.’
    • ‘Everywhere I go now I see young women, girls really, pushing babies around in prams and babycarts.’
    • ‘We breed, we make babies, the babies are either girls or boys.’
    infant, newborn, child, tot, little one
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    1. 1.1A very young animal.
      ‘bats only have one baby a year’
      [as modifier] ‘baby rabbits’
      • ‘My rabbit just had babies with his ‘brother’ - they are so unbelievably adorable!’
      • ‘But the doting couple are blissfully unaware that their baby is actually a GOOSE.’
      • ‘Hoss had figured out that human babies grew inside of their mothers' tummies, just as animal babies did, but as yet it had not occurred to him to ask how they got in there in the first place.’
      • ‘Nick pumps out mix compilations faster than bunny rabbits have babies.’
      • ‘A home for Kentucky Derby winners should be sunshine, bluegrass and pretty mares waiting to make babies who can fly.’
      • ‘I asserted that rats were disinclined to move across broken glass under most conditions, but put broken glass between a rat and her babies and she would cross it without hesitation.’
      • ‘Three capybaras have been born at the popular animal park and the babies are now delighting visitors as they lap up the autumn sunshine.’
      • ‘Very early on, with a new baby rabbit you should get it used to being handled.’
      • ‘She said a box with a mother rabbit, her four babies and another adult female were found by her husband Mike when making final checks by the main gate at 2am yesterday.’
      • ‘Penguin popularity shows its ‘fowl’ side as a baby penguin is plucked from a British zoo.’
      • ‘The attraction's other Easter babies include wallabies, chicks, lambs, goats, guinea pigs, mara and raccoons.’
      • ‘And he accepted without censure that its impulse to slaughter the babies of other animals was entirely natural.’
      • ‘It seems that she wants to keep him as her own toy, since her parents had previously promised her a lamb as a pet baby, and not given it to her.’
      • ‘The breeder must be prepared to take full responsibility for their animal babies for their entire life.’
      • ‘Alice told me she enjoyed meeting Mrs Gow and asked questions like how many babies do goats have and what do they eat.’
      • ‘She discovered the feral cat and its four babies after her bunny Starsky hopped up and down the garden to attract her attention.’
      • ‘A camel gives birth to her baby, or colt - but won't suckle it.’
      • ‘Why do most animals have their babies in the spring?’
    2. 1.2The youngest member of a family or group.
      ‘Clara was the baby of the family’
      • ‘He's from a family of five tennis players, Tracy Austin, the baby of the family.’
      • ‘This is what I get for being related to someone that is overly obsessed with what her peers think and is the baby of the family.’
      • ‘He was only 12 and the baby of the family as our other children have all grown up and left home.’
      • ‘Still, for the baby of the family, most people prefer the cleanliness and purity of white.’
      • ‘Kevin hopes to have the baby of the family, the gallant John Joe, groomed for the next event.’
      • ‘Here, Washoe was no longer the baby of the family but was now living with chimpanzees a few years younger than herself.’
      • ‘Sharon was the baby of the family.’
      • ‘She's telling me to acknowledge the sister and she's also bringing up the baby of the family.’
      • ‘The baby of the family has a picture of Denis over his own bed at home.’
      • ‘After years of being the baby of the family, I decided to meet my parents on neutral ground.’
      • ‘I'm the baby of my family too and I can sympathize on the younger cousin deal.’
      • ‘Thérèse had been the adored baby of her family, instructed every day by two elder sisters who proceeded her into the Carmelite convent in Lisieux.’
      • ‘The Range Rover badge carries with it a lot of prestige and, while this is the baby of the family, it's still more desirable than anything from Japan.’
      • ‘She is, after all, the baby of the family and she needs me the most.’
      • ‘Anne Marie has six brothers and three sisters and is the baby of the family.’
      • ‘His dad had remarried and Sykes was no longer the baby of the family: he now had a half-brother, John.’
      • ‘Nesbitt was the baby of the family growing up in Antrim.’
      • ‘Despite this, he still towers over me, and I feel like the baby of the family as he walks over and gives me a quick, awkward hug.’
      • ‘From what Jim told him, Hannah Dawson is the baby of the family.’
      • ‘Two have already left home and the baby in our family is 13.’
      youngest, junior member
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    3. 1.3A timid or childish person.
      ‘‘Don't be such a baby!’ she said witheringly’
      • ‘Stop being such a baby.’
      • ‘Maybe I shouldn't be such a baby about things, but I am upset with my doctor's office right now.’
    4. 1.4informal One's particular responsibility or concern.
      ‘‘This is your baby, Gerry,’ she said, handing him the brief’
      • ‘Granted, it's his baby, and he can do what he wants with it, but he introduced it as an action/adventure entertainment show.’
      • ‘It's my baby so I don't really have any time for any other bands.’
      • ‘I believe it's your baby now but please do some more research.’
  • 2informal A lover or spouse (often as a form of address)

    ‘my baby left me for another guy’
    • ‘I do love you baby.’
    • ‘She was such a bright, vivacious person, my angel, my star, my baby.’
    • ‘As for telling us to grow up and grow some hair, I'd love to, baby, I really would.’
    darling, sweetheart, dearest, dear
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1A thing regarded with affection or familiarity.
      ‘this baby can reach speeds of 120 mph’
      • ‘That's not his everyday car, it's his baby.’
      • ‘This is the only way you can purchase this baby at a discounted price.’
      • ‘I personally would not do it, simply because my laptop is my baby.’
      darling, sweetheart, dearest, dear
      View synonyms


  • 1[attributive] Comparatively small or immature of its kind.

    ‘a baby version of the Oxford Movement’
    • ‘We are the sole commercial outlet for the impressive GM6, which is a baby version of our popular GM2 gear motor.’
    • ‘Not the display case where you can buy fake nose rings and baby tees and mini glowsticks to roll around on your tongue.’
    • ‘Looking for a used grand or baby grand piano?’
    • ‘The shirt was a pink baby tee with a tiny pocket on the right side of my chest.’
    miniature, mini, little, small, small-scale, scaled-down, toy, pocket, midget, dwarf, fun-size
    teeny, teeny-weeny, teensy, teensy-weensy, weeny, itsy-bitsy, itty-bitty, eensy, eensy-weensy, tiddly, pint-sized, bite-sized
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1(of vegetables) picked before reaching their usual size.
      ‘baby carrots’
      • ‘At this time of year garden centres have tray upon tray of baby vegetables all ready for planting out.’
      • ‘If you want to be veggie, go for the selection of baby vegetables with garlic flavoured tomato concentrate.’
      • ‘In a pan of boiling water cook the baby potatoes for 10-12 mins until cooked through.’
      • ‘So fill in by serving baby carrots or sliced red or green peppers or cucumbers with light ranch dressing.’
      • ‘The cheddar mash had no overtly cheesy taste but was rich and creamy and the dish was served with a thick onion gravy, dotted with baby onions.’
      • ‘The roasted baby onions added an extra sweet layer in an exceptionally moist duck for €22.95.’
      • ‘Sometimes with deals like this, you are punished with minute servings, but the bowl was full of juicy baby mushrooms.’
      • ‘Next day I simply emptied the bag into the prepared pot, stirred to brown and then added two big sliced onions and a few diced baby carrots.’
      • ‘Their food selection was fair and I eventually had a tuna steak with rice and baby carrots.’
      • ‘My son and I polished off the baby carrots and radishes before we even got home!’
      • ‘Lunch could be salmon fillet with orange couscous and baby carrots.’
      • ‘The fish had a deliciously crispy skin, moist flesh and was served with baby onions and carrots.’
      • ‘Good though it was, it was eclipsed by the fantastic tapering baby carrots on which it sat.’
      • ‘And while I was there, I decided to pick up a few bags of pretzels and some of those baby carrots.’
      • ‘The only disappointment is the baby potatoes that were obviously frozen.’
      • ‘Courgettes are actually baby marrows, just picked earlier from the plant.’
      • ‘Any vegetable producer tan package baby carrots or cut-up celery in individual portions.’
      • ‘If you love to munch on baby carrots as snacks, dip them in reduced-fat dressing, she suggests.’
      • ‘Top and tail the green beans, peel the baby onions or cut the spring onion into 2.5cm pieces.’
      • ‘The spring veggies were another hit: baby carrots, asparagus, French greens and corn in light soy sauce.’


  • Treat (someone) as a baby; pamper or be overprotective towards.

    ‘her aunt babied her and fussed over her clothes’
    • ‘It's funny how we both thought that Libby would not like Brant babying her!’
    • ‘I would hate having to carry him after the fuss I made about not babying him anymore.’
    • ‘He wouldn't get better if they babied him all the time.’
    • ‘But maybe he shouldn't have babied her as he had.’
    • ‘I finally gave into Bryan's demands that I stop babying him and let him drive himself.’
    • ‘I had never babied him the way I babied our Baby Chad, but I've always watched over each of my brothers, just especially the younger ones.’
    • ‘I don't plan on babying him at all, and I don't want him to feel embarrassed by my crazy antics.’
    • ‘Adair's father acted more like a father to Kathleen then he did to Mark and Persephone, and they all babied Kathleen ridiculously.’
    • ‘However, he was tired of her always babying him.’
    • ‘‘Your mother always babied you,’ he continued.’
    • ‘I know you feel like we are babying you, but we are trying to protect you.’
    • ‘On the other hand, he was fourteen and didn't need his mother constantly babying him.’
    • ‘He accused her of babying him up, and treating him too nicely.’
    • ‘She becomes bold and refuses the will of her husband, and she repudiates babying her children.’
    • ‘She tells him he doesn't need to push himself, but he disagrees, and wishes that she would stop babying him.’
    • ‘Did she want me to pull out her chair for her, or would she see that as babying her?’
    • ‘Those middle school teachers babied us too much.’
    • ‘Brett still babied her and came home early from work to be with her.’
    • ‘So I've been babying her and giving her extra treats and stuff.’
    • ‘This was because of the way Daddy babied me, as though I was still six years old.’
    pamper, mollycoddle, spoil, cosset, coddle, indulge, overindulge, pet, wait on someone hand and foot, feather-bed, wrap in cotton wool, overparent, nanny
    pander to
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  • throw the baby out with the bathwater

    • Discard something valuable along with other things that are undesirable.

      • ‘No right-thinking person wants to downplay this problem or its implications, but we are in danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.’
      • ‘Surely what we're doing is throwing the baby out with the bathwater if the failures of individuals lead to the rejection of a religious sense?’
      • ‘I feel I'm relatively representative of Canadians and I don't want the Conservatives throwing the baby out with the bathwater.’
      • ‘In this case, I don't see how you could ‘close the loophole’ without throwing the baby out with the bathwater.’
      • ‘It is hoped that the reforms will achieve their purpose of improving the health system but will avoid throwing the baby out with the bathwater.’


Late Middle English: probably imitative of an infant's first attempts at speech.