Definition of baby in English:

baby

noun

  • 1A very young child.

    ‘his wife's just had a baby’
    as modifier ‘a baby girl’
    • ‘The father and mother held on to two babies while a young girl sat in front of them.’
    • ‘This is to prevent staff and visitors from accidentally referring to boy babies as girls, and vice versa.’
    • ‘I suppose there may have been men, women, girls, boys, babies among them, but I saw no faces.’
    • ‘You know how to tell a boy baby from a girl baby without having to look at their genitalia?’
    • ‘Lydia didn't even want a baby; boy or girl, name or no name, what did it matter to her?’
    • ‘The quadruplets, two boys and two girl babies, are also Niloufer Hospital's first.’
    • ‘Everywhere I go now I see young women, girls really, pushing babies around in prams and babycarts.’
    • ‘You see babies and you see infants - tiny, tiny babies, some as young as a week old.’
    • ‘The equipment and funds help save the lives of newborn babies and young children with congenital heart disease.’
    • ‘The theme of ‘the four ages of dental health’ will explore problems faced by babies, children, teenagers and the elderly.’
    • ‘And she opens up to showbiz tonight about being grandma to Gwyneth Paltrow's baby daughter.’
    • ‘Does smoking during pregnancy cause other problems in babies or young children?’
    • ‘We breed, we make babies, the babies are either girls or boys.’
    • ‘The ultrasound probe is used mainly for head scanning of newborn babies and young children.’
    • ‘They now believe even younger babies, even tinier tots can be encouraged to give life a go.’
    • ‘As they looked at their tiny newborn babies, these brave young survivors felt a powerful surge of protection.’
    • ‘There were old and young people, little boys and girls, teenagers and babies in prams.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This age range is the hardest to find carers for as most people choose to provide foster care for babies and 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.’
    infant, newborn, child, tot, little one
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A very young animal.
      ‘bats only have one baby a year’
      as modifier ‘baby rabbits’
      • ‘Why do most animals have their babies in the spring?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But the doting couple are blissfully unaware that their baby is actually a GOOSE.’
      • ‘Nick pumps out mix compilations faster than bunny rabbits have babies.’
      • ‘A camel gives birth to her baby, or colt - but won't suckle it.’
      • ‘Alice told me she enjoyed meeting Mrs Gow and asked questions like how many babies do goats have and what do they eat.’
      • ‘Three capybaras have been born at the popular animal park and the babies are now delighting visitors as they lap up the autumn sunshine.’
      • ‘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 goal in this case is to return a Neanderthal baby to his family.’
      • ‘My rabbit just had babies with his ‘brother’ - they are so unbelievably adorable!’
      • ‘The breeder must be prepared to take full responsibility for their animal babies for their entire life.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A home for Kentucky Derby winners should be sunshine, bluegrass and pretty mares waiting to make babies who can fly.’
      • ‘Very early on, with a new baby rabbit you should get it used to being handled.’
      • ‘Penguin popularity shows its ‘fowl’ side as a baby penguin is plucked from a British zoo.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She discovered the feral cat and its four babies after her bunny Starsky hopped up and down the garden to attract her attention.’
    2. 1.2 The youngest member of a family or group.
      ‘Clara was the baby of the family’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Nesbitt was the baby of the family growing up in Antrim.’
      • ‘I'm the baby of my family too and I can sympathize on the younger cousin deal.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘After years of being the baby of the family, I decided to meet my parents on neutral ground.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘From what Jim told him, Hannah Dawson is the baby of the family.’
      • ‘Anne Marie has six brothers and three sisters and is the baby of the family.’
      • ‘Two have already left home and the baby in our family is 13.’
      • ‘His dad had remarried and Sykes was no longer the baby of the family: he now had a half-brother, John.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She is, after all, the baby of the family and she needs me the most.’
      • ‘He was only 12 and the baby of the family as our other children have all grown up and left home.’
      • ‘She's telling me to acknowledge the sister and she's also bringing up the baby of the family.’
      • ‘He's from a family of five tennis players, Tracy Austin, the baby of the family.’
      • ‘Still, for the baby of the family, most people prefer the cleanliness and purity of white.’
      • ‘The baby of the family has a picture of Denis over his own bed at home.’
      • ‘Kevin hopes to have the baby of the family, the gallant John Joe, groomed for the next event.’
      youngest, junior member
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 A 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.’
      namby-pamby, weakling, milksop, milquetoast
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4one's babyinformal One's particular responsibility or concern.
      ‘‘This is your baby, Gerry,’ she said, handing him the brief’
      • ‘It's my baby so I don't really have any time for any other bands.’
      • ‘Granted, it's his baby, and he can do what he wants with it, but he introduced it as an action/adventure entertainment show.’
      • ‘I believe it's your baby now but please do some more research.’
      responsibility, business, affair, charge, duty, job, task, occupation
      View synonyms
  • 2informal A lover or spouse (often as a form of address)

    ‘my baby left me for another guy’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I do love you baby.’
    darling, sweetheart, dearest, dear
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 A thing regarded with affection or familiarity.
      ‘this baby can reach speeds of 120 mph’
      • ‘I personally would not do it, simply because my laptop is my baby.’
      • ‘That's not his everyday car, it's his baby.’
      • ‘This is the only way you can purchase this baby at a discounted price.’
      darling, sweetheart, dearest, dear
      View synonyms

adjective

  • 1attributive 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.’
    • ‘The shirt was a pink baby tee with a tiny pocket on the right side of my chest.’
    • ‘Looking for a used grand or baby grand piano?’
    • ‘Not the display case where you can buy fake nose rings and baby tees and mini glowsticks to roll around on your tongue.’
    miniature, mini, little, small, small-scale, scaled-down, toy, pocket, midget, dwarf, fun-size
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of vegetables) picked before reaching their usual size.
      ‘baby carrots’
      • ‘Courgettes are actually baby marrows, just picked earlier from the plant.’
      • ‘Good though it was, it was eclipsed by the fantastic tapering baby carrots on which it sat.’
      • ‘My son and I polished off the baby carrots and radishes before we even got home!’
      • ‘The roasted baby onions added an extra sweet layer in an exceptionally moist duck for €22.95.’
      • ‘The spring veggies were another hit: baby carrots, asparagus, French greens and corn in light soy sauce.’
      • ‘In a pan of boiling water cook the baby potatoes for 10-12 mins until cooked through.’
      • ‘Top and tail the green beans, peel the baby onions or cut the spring onion into 2.5cm pieces.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If you love to munch on baby carrots as snacks, dip them in reduced-fat dressing, she suggests.’
      • ‘Sometimes with deals like this, you are punished with minute servings, but the bowl was full of juicy baby mushrooms.’
      • ‘The fish had a deliciously crispy skin, moist flesh and was served with baby onions and carrots.’
      • ‘The only disappointment is the baby potatoes that were obviously frozen.’
      • ‘If you want to be veggie, go for the selection of baby vegetables with garlic flavoured tomato concentrate.’
      • ‘At this time of year garden centres have tray upon tray of baby vegetables all ready for planting out.’
      • ‘Any vegetable producer tan package baby carrots or cut-up celery in individual portions.’
      • ‘So fill in by serving baby carrots or sliced red or green peppers or cucumbers with light ranch dressing.’
      • ‘Their food selection was fair and I eventually had a tuna steak with rice and baby carrots.’
      • ‘Lunch could be salmon fillet with orange couscous and baby carrots.’
      • ‘And while I was there, I decided to pick up a few bags of pretzels and some of those baby carrots.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Treat (someone) as a baby; pamper or be overprotective towards.

    ‘her aunt babied her and fussed over her clothes’
    • ‘She becomes bold and refuses the will of her husband, and she repudiates babying her children.’
    • ‘I know you feel like we are babying you, but we are trying to protect you.’
    • ‘Those middle school teachers babied us too much.’
    • ‘I finally gave into Bryan's demands that I stop babying him and let him drive himself.’
    • ‘Did she want me to pull out her chair for her, or would she see that as babying her?’
    • ‘She tells him he doesn't need to push himself, but he disagrees, and wishes that she would stop babying him.’
    • ‘On the other hand, he was fourteen and didn't need his mother constantly babying him.’
    • ‘It's funny how we both thought that Libby would not like Brant babying her!’
    • ‘He wouldn't get better if they babied him all the time.’
    • ‘I don't plan on babying him at all, and I don't want him to feel embarrassed by my crazy antics.’
    • ‘I would hate having to carry him after the fuss I made about not babying him anymore.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘Your mother always babied you,’ he continued.’
    • ‘But maybe he shouldn't have babied her as he had.’
    • ‘He accused her of babying him up, and treating him too nicely.’
    • ‘However, he was tired of her always babying him.’
    • ‘Adair's father acted more like a father to Kathleen then he did to Mark and Persephone, and they all babied Kathleen ridiculously.’
    • ‘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
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • throw the baby out with the bathwater

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

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I feel I'm relatively representative of Canadians and I don't want the Conservatives 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?’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

baby

/ˈbeɪbi/