Definition of born in English:



  • 1Existing as a result of birth.

    ‘she was born in Aberdeen’
    ‘I was born with a sense of curiosity’
    ‘a newly born baby’
    • ‘Your baby is born with reflexes, some of which disappear within a few days or weeks.’
    • ‘Some babies are born with a squint or their eyes roll away from each other occasionally.’
    • ‘John was one of a family of five sons and one daughter born to proud parents Jack and Bridget.’
    • ‘Dame Elizabeth was born to American parents and left London for Los Angeles when she was seven.’
    • ‘The biggest fall in babies born to married couples has been in homes of about average income.’
    • ‘A few years ago a beautiful little baby girl was born to a couple living together.’
    • ‘Cases of babies born with low birth weights are five per cent higher near landfill sites.’
    • ‘Furthermore, the total number of babies born to teenagers is fairly small.’
    • ‘A baby is not born with a sweet tooth and will only have a taste for sugar if it is given at an early age.’
    • ‘The baby is born with a fistula tissue which can connect the esophagus with the trachea.’
    • ‘Joshua was one of five babies born to sailors serving on Melbourne while she was absent.’
    • ‘Lottie was exposed to the CMV virus before her birth and was born with significant brain damage.’
    • ‘He was the first baby born to a British prime minister for more than a century.’
    • ‘She was born with a rare birth defect that left her with a huge growth on her neck and has spent most of her early life in hospital.’
    • ‘If both parents carry the trait there is a one in four chance of a baby being born with the condition.’
    • ‘We know the story about the baby who was born to migrant parents in an occupied country.’
    • ‘Sometimes clefts run in families and sometimes a baby is born with a cleft without anyone else in the family having one.’
    • ‘I think it stems from the tradition of visiting your local shrine one month after the baby is born to do the blessing thing.’
    • ‘In Thailand pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.’
    • ‘Two in a hundred children in Basra are now being born with birth defects.’
    formerly, previously
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    1. 1.1in combination Having a specific nationality.
      ‘a German-born philosopher’
    2. 1.2attributive Having a natural ability to do a particular job.
      ‘he's a born engineer’
      • ‘He did not own anything that could make him a born leader — no birthright, no pedigree and certainly no extraordinary attributes.’
      • ‘For a born chef, it must be nice to pour your talent into a meal, and then to see, up close, a customer's appreciation.’
      • ‘His classmates remembered him as a born leader, an achiever, a magnetic personality.’
      • ‘Are you a born athlete?’
      • ‘Hannah writes like a born novelist, with a calm, seductive style and an almost Chekovian vision of subtle humour and generosity.’
      • ‘Morse was not a born scientist; he was an educated man who had a love for art.’
      • ‘He thrived in the training and displayed the natural attributes of a born soldier.’
      • ‘Are you a born investment banker?’
      • ‘Counting himself neither a born athlete nor a born writer, Irving resolved to work that much harder.’
      • ‘He was a born soldier, and in the end he found his way back to his true calling.’
      naturally gifted, untaught
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3predicative, with infinitive Perfectly suited or trained to do a particular job.
      ‘men born to rule’
      • ‘Balcon felt he was born to be a soldier.’
      • ‘Although she was convinced early on that she was born to be an artist, she was rarely at ease with herself.’
      • ‘He was born to break the rules.’
      • ‘She says she was born to teach; now she runs her own school.’
      • ‘Leading work-expert Nick Williams has identified the twelve principles of the work we were born to do.’
      • ‘hen there are some lawyers who become judges because they were born to be judges.’
      • ‘He was born to be an actor, and when he conscientiously set himself to a task he could blend his genius with a thoroughly sound and intelligent craftsmanship.’
      • ‘He was born to serve and served his primary constituency diligently.’
      • ‘She was born to help and serve and she did not expect for any reward or recognition.’
      • ‘Whether struggling with drugs, alcohol, or some other compulsion, this series will help people discover that they were born to be free.’
      • ‘Although both of them believe they were born to lead, they were able to temper their leadership desires, in order to cooperate in whatever environments they were in, Arvey said.’
      • ‘"He was born to teach," says Julius, an assistant research scientist emeritus in the Department of Epidemiology.’
      • ‘She was born to be a goalie.’
      • ‘t shows teachers how to create and deliver curriculum that helps all students become the motivated, successful natural learners they were born to be!’
    4. 1.4 (of an organization, movement, or idea) brought into existence.
      ‘on 1 January 1992, the new company was born’
      • ‘In Seattle at the very end of the 20th century a new anti-capitalist movement was born.’
      • ‘And so was born the idea for the show which culminated with The Dave Gorman Collection.’
      • ‘So was born the idea of placing himself on a diet, which in turn gave birth to The Obvious Diet Book.’
      • ‘It took a long time from the moment when the idea was born to the point when the work was actually started.’
      • ‘And it is from statements like yours that ideas like liberal media bias are born.’
      • ‘The idea for the film was born in New York City during a visit six years ago.’
      • ‘The concept was born in early September, when Rick and Hood called Holdren to help write an impromptu play.’
      • ‘The idea was born when Prince William enjoyed a pint of cider in the hotel's Road Hole Bar last summer.’
      • ‘The constitution was not born from fear of national authority, as Republicans maintain.’
      • ‘There are the jolly good ideas born out of late-night-by-the-Aga desperation.’
      • ‘It was on the streets of east London over a century ago that the labour movement was born.’
      • ‘It is tempting to assume that a movement born in reaction to injustice must be just.’
      • ‘Of course new programme ideas are born out of old programme ideas.’
      • ‘These ideas, though born in England, were first taken up in America and France.’
      • ‘After all, the organisation was born out of industrial struggles in the early 1980s.’
      • ‘The idea was born to inspire Bradford residents to attempt new challenges.’
      • ‘The idea has not been born out of the concern for farmers, but due to political compulsions.’
      • ‘This new Islamist movement was born with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.’
      • ‘The idea was born from the damage done to the local tourist industry in the wake of the foot and mouth disease outbreak.’
      • ‘In large measure this had to do with the circumstances in which the Association movement was born.’
    5. 1.5born of Existing as a result of (a particular situation or feeling)
      ‘his work is born of despair’
      • ‘Most of the interviews conducted with locals at the time involved humor born of fear.’
      • ‘Their economic prescriptions are born of a moral philosophy that says debt is bad and more debt is worse.’
      • ‘She has a certain fondness for Xavier, born of his apparent helplessness in the face of getting by.’
      • ‘Oh, how I shall miss her laugh and wonderful wisdom, born of so much experience and an innate sensitivity to life.’
      • ‘Francisco de Goya foresaw the nightmares born of the Enlightenment.’
      • ‘The argument against it is rich with logic and reason, while the argument for it is born of compassion and love.’
      • ‘In a bond born of tears, six mothers smile again.’
      • ‘Theirs is an impotent, childish rage, born of a sense of failure and a resentment of American power.’
      • ‘Some might say this is a complete waste of time, but it is born of hope, not despair, and I will keep trying.’
      • ‘Most feel that failure to diversify and a complacency born of the plant's long history have sounded its death knell.’
      • ‘Whereas alchemy attests to an optimistic future born of destruction, for Sebald there is no such certainty.’
      • ‘This was less a political protest against war, than a frustrated tantrum born of the left's own sense of exclusion.’
      • ‘You and your friends will share extraordinary bonds, born of surviving desperate situations.’
      • ‘He did not lack confidence, indeed he oozed it as now he oozes sweat, but it was a confidence born of ambition, not arrogance.’
      • ‘I'm sure that, for many of our respondents, their answers are born of what happened to them last week or last month.’
      • ‘It is the epitome of true elegance, born of centuries of survival with grace.’
      • ‘It is being portrayed as a last resort but appears to be born of frustration with a regime and a leader the world would be better off without.’
      • ‘His more recent vehicle, the Hunter Foundation, is a creature born of his obsession with Carnegie.’
      • ‘What happened at Bristol was a "tragedy born of high hopes and ambitions", the report of the independent inquiry claims.’
      • ‘Though born of necessity, Duffy's invention is more than a short-term measure.’


On the difference between born and borne, see bear


  • born and bred

    • By birth and upbringing, especially with reference to someone considered a typical product of a place.

      ‘he was a Cambridge man born and bred’
      • ‘A Blade born and bred, he quite obviously couldn't have been more excited if he'd been handed the keys to Old Trafford or the Bernabeu.’
      • ‘Being Glaswegian born and bred, I have an inexplicable dislike of Edinburgh and the thought of a day in the capital did not really appeal to me.’
      • ‘He was born and bred here and was extremely well liked.’
      • ‘The first group of bombers were rather well-to-do, born and bred in Britain for the most part.’
      • ‘A Langcliffe woman who was born and bred by the sea has joined the crew of a tall ship to raise funds for the Mission to Seafarers charity.’
      • ‘He is proud of the fact that he is born and bred in Durrow.’
      • ‘I was born and bred in Belfast but my parents are from Dungannon and I've always played for Dungannon.’
      • ‘But it could demonstrate a twisted streak in him that he would not want to play for the country both he and his parents were born and bred in.’
      • ‘What would then happen if we went riding on the land belonging to my brother and I and chased a fox, which had been born and bred on our land and had eaten our pheasants?’
      • ‘‘A lot of it is what I remember from my youth,’ said David, who was born and bred in Cowling.’
      • ‘Although born and bred in Lismore, over the last two years the article has been done from our new hometown, Brisbane.’
      • ‘As a Yorkshireman, born and bred, I would always argue that the best parts of England lie within the county's boundaries.’
      • ‘Mr Leahy, born and bred in Dublin, was called to the bar in 1979 and made a senior counsel in 1997.’
      • ‘Based on her memories of the north-east town of Strichen, where she was born and bred, it was generally well-received.’
      • ‘Madrid born and bred, his family were ardent Atletico fans.’
      • ‘Tom is London born and bred, which is clear from his sound, his voice, but it isn't London-y in an overbearing way either, which is nice.’
      • ‘Cleckheaton born and bred, he originally trained as a chef because his father was a pub landlord, but he decided on a career in teaching instead.’
      • ‘Chili was born and bred in San Antonio and real chili never met a tomato!’
      • ‘Both Mike and Rita are born and bred in the Test Valley area.’
      • ‘The dog born and bred in the parish certainly proved a true champion in the final on Saturday night, June 1st.’
  • be born with a silver spoon in one's mouth

    • Be born into a wealthy family of high social standing.

      ‘it's obvious that he wasn't raised with a silver spoon’
  • in all one's born days

    • Used to express surprise at something one has not encountered before.

      ‘in all my born days I've never seen the like of it’
      • ‘Finally he pushed his chair back, wiped his mouth with a sleeve that had seen such service often before and spoke: ‘Bruther, that was the best feed I ever had in all my born days.’’
      • ‘"In all my born days, in all my experience on the job, I haven't seen anything like this."’
      • ‘In the castle kitchen a great fire was blazing, and Halvor went into it, but such a kitchen he had never seen in all his born days.’
      • ‘That was the strangest thing I ever saw in all my born days.’
      • ‘‘Never in all our born days!’ the woman exclaimed.’
      • ‘I never saw that degree of consistency from garden produce, not in all my born days I didn't.’
      • ‘Edith said she had never seen anything like it in "all her born days".’
      • ‘It's not going to be very difficult to convince me to attend anything at the Esplanade Studios in future, because I have never heard such amazing sound in a gig in all my born days.’
      • ‘“He never had a gun like this in his hand in all his born days.”’
      • ‘You never heard such screaming and carryin' on in all your born days!’
      • ‘There she saw a pair of family-heirloom "candlewick" bedspreads, the handsomest bedspreads she had seen in all her born days.’
      • ‘You never saw such an attentive audience in all your born days.’
      • ‘Even if she did still seem mad, and possessed a voice shrill enough to crack glass, she was the most gorgeous female he'd ever seen in all his born days.’
      • ‘In all my born days I have never seen a West Indies side capitulate as often, as feebly or as carelessly as this one has done time and time again.’
      • ‘She told me that in all her born days she had never had to do anything like that and that she was not intending to in the near future, either.’
  • not know one is born

    • Used to convey that someone has an easy life without realizing how easy it is.

      ‘you lot without families don't know you're born’
      • ‘What a softie—he doesn't know he's born!’
      • ‘What I want to say to him is that he doesn't know he's born—he works 10mins drive from where he works and doesn't start til 9:30.’
      • ‘The original poster should wake up and realise that he doesn't know he's born.’
      • ‘Folks these days don't know they're born.’
      • ‘She doesn't know she's born; she must live on air, that girl.’
      • ‘So yes, on the whole, he doesn't know he's born and is in for the shock of his life when the baby comes.’
      • ‘He doesn't know he's born!’
  • there's one (or a sucker) born every minute

    • informal There are many gullible people.

      • ‘Couple this with P.T. Barnum's claim that there's a sucker born every minute, and a substantial boutique market for pure water appears.’
      • ‘As the man said—and he was in a position to know—there's a sucker born every minute.’
      • ‘There's a sucker born every minute, or something like that, and tonight I met a big one.’
      • ‘There really is one born every minute!’
      • ‘There's a sucker born every minute, and every one of them will fall for any worm and virus that hits their in-box.’
      • ‘Seems as if they think that there's one born every minute.’
      • ‘While browsing through my spam this weekend I came across the quintessential proof that perhaps there is a sucker born every minute.’
      • ‘However, generally accepted accounting principles, in their wisdom, also give companies the flexibility to book the revenue when such claims are filed (on the assumption, I guess, that there's a sucker born every minute.)’
      • ‘Astrology proves one thing and one thing only—there's one born every minute.’
      • ‘Sure there's a sucker born every minute, but the alarming regularity at which these ideas conceived by the company are actually sold to clients defies comprehension.’
      • ‘There is an endless market for this kind of junk, a sucker born every minute at the very least.’
      • ‘No doubt the odd ‘valued customer’ will fall for this latest spam scam; after all, there's a sucker born every minute.’
      • ‘P.T. Barnum once volunteered a $10,000 prize to anyone who could make him the butt of his own famous phrase, ‘There's a sucker born every minute.’’
      • ‘‘There's a sucker born every minute,’ said P.T. Barnum, the circus impresario.’
      • ‘Look no further than eBay, which, proving there's a sucker born every minute, is the host for auctions for ‘memorabilia’ from the Pacers-Pistons brawl.’
      • ‘What I do know is that Lynxvosmia promises Stephen true eternal life, which I guess means there really is a sucker born every minute.’
      • ‘There really is one born every minute.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, the comments show that there's one born every minute.’
      • ‘Yeah, well, there really is one born every minute and there were two of us out shopping for vacuums that night so we just ate it right up.’
      • ‘Cheval Théâtre is selling out and, indeed, the run has been extended an extra week, proving P.T. Barnum's contention that there's a sucker born every minute.’
  • I (or he, she, etc.) wasn't born yesterday

    • Used to indicate that one (or another person) is not foolish or gullible.

      • ‘Mel, I wasn't born yesterday; now go get ready before I change my mind.’
      • ‘I shook my head and she proceeded to tell me how trashy it looked and that she wasn't born yesterday.’
      • ‘Williams says she wasn't going to let the cab driver take her, as she "wasn't born yesterday."’
      • ‘I may sell Bibles but I know which end is up and I wasn't born yesterday and I know where I'm going!’
      • ‘We baby boomers have one thing going for us in this political debate: We weren't born yesterday.’
      • ‘Just because I was in pain didn't mean I was an idiot; I wasn't born yesterday.’
      • ‘She wasn't born yesterday; fifteen years in The Big Apple teaches you something.’
      • ‘I protested that I wasn’t thinking that I did and my Mom gave me a knowing look that said she wasn't born yesterday’
      • ‘I wasn't born yesterday, either.’
      • ‘I wasn't born yesterday okay?’
      • ‘Nice try, but I wasn't born yesterday!’
      • ‘She knew, though; she wasn't born yesterday.’
      • ‘Now Pet, you of all people know I wasn't born yesterday.’
      • ‘I understand second guessing, I will do it at times also, but let's use this to remember that Walt wasn't born yesterday.’
      • ‘Listen, I wasn't born yesterday… you think that if you're nice to Jeremy he'll open up to you and that's when you strike in for the kill.’
      • ‘My baby may be ten days old, but she wasn't born yesterday.’
      • ‘Kiffin is a young coach, Vic, but he wasn't born yesterday.’
      • ‘I've heard a few things about these things; I wasn't born yesterday, you know.’
      • ‘Unless time and space are incredibly unstable, I wasn't born yesterday, and I don't fall for tricks.’
      • ‘This woman starts yelling and claiming she wasn't born yesterday and they have my signature and my bankruptcy paperwork.’
      • ‘Come on now, we weren't born yesterday.’
      • ‘But he wasn't born yesterday; he knows how the central bank works.’
      • ‘Well, Gretel wasn't born yesterday and said, 'You know, witch, I'm not myself this morning.'’
      • ‘We weren't born yesterday, and this has been going on for quite some time.’
      • ‘April's a piece of work, but I wasn't born yesterday.’


Old English boren, past participle of beran ‘to bear’ (see bear).