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


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’
      • ‘Although born and bred in Lismore, over the last two years the article has been done from our new hometown, Brisbane.’
      • ‘Madrid born and bred, his family were ardent Atletico fans.’
      • ‘The dog born and bred in the parish certainly proved a true champion in the final on Saturday night, June 1st.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I was born and bred in Belfast but my parents are from Dungannon and I've always played for Dungannon.’
      • ‘Mr Leahy, born and bred in Dublin, was called to the bar in 1979 and made a senior counsel in 1997.’
      • ‘He is proud of the fact that he is born and bred in Durrow.’
      • ‘‘A lot of it is what I remember from my youth,’ said David, who was born and bred in Cowling.’
      • ‘He was born and bred here and was extremely well liked.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Based on her memories of the north-east town of Strichen, where she was born and bred, it was generally well-received.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘As a Yorkshireman, born and bred, I would always argue that the best parts of England lie within the county's boundaries.’
      • ‘The first group of bombers were rather well-to-do, born and bred in Britain for the most part.’
  • born on the wrong side of the blanket

    • Illegitimate.

      • ‘There is speculation that he was born on the wrong side of the blanket, as the illegitimate son of a local squire.’
      • ‘This is the story of a man born on the wrong side of the blanket, a fugitive from the King's justice, and the finest swordsman in all of France.’
      • ‘Well meaning professionals believed that adopted children would benefit by being shielded from the shame of being born on the wrong side of the blanket.’
      • ‘It is a simple story of an unfortunate who had the misfortune to be born on the wrong side of the blanket.’
      • ‘But will today's audiences care about a bed-hopping rogue born on the wrong side of the blanket who eventually finds true love?’
      • ‘He may have been born on the wrong side of the blanket, but he's everything a proper lord should be.’
      • ‘Can you name three individuals born on the wrong side of the blanket who eventually came to wear crowns?’
      • ‘The children born on the wrong side of the blanket came from twenty different mothers, nineteen of whom had one each, while one woman had five.’
      • ‘He was born on the wrong side of the blanket, as they say.’
      • ‘If she was perchance born on the wrong side of the blanket, then she cannot become an earl's wife.’
      born out of wedlock, born of unmarried parents
      View synonyms
  • be born with a silver spoon in one's mouth

    • see born
      • ‘I never lived in a block of flats, but I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth either.’
      • ‘Although he is descended from Russian aristocracy, he was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth.’
      • ‘So what is it like to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth?’
      • ‘He is American with a fresh faced, ‘well scrubbed’ look about him but was certainly not born with a silver spoon in his mouth.’
      • ‘I presume that for most people - those who were not born with a silver spoon in their mouth - there was a time when they were poor.’
      • ‘So if you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, tell people.’
      • ‘They think that we're born with a silver spoon in our mouth.’
      • ‘It is always being said that I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but that's not the case.’
      • ‘You on the other hand must have been born with a silver spoon in your mouth.’
      • ‘You thought I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth, is that right?’
    • 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘"In all my born days, in all my experience on the job, I haven't seen anything like this."’
      • ‘You never saw such an attentive audience in all your born days.’
      • ‘I never saw that degree of consistency from garden produce, not in all my born days I didn't.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘Never in all our born days!’ the woman exclaimed.’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘There she saw a pair of family-heirloom "candlewick" bedspreads, the handsomest bedspreads she had seen in all her born days.’
      • ‘Edith said she had never seen anything like it in "all her 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!’
      • ‘That was the strangest thing I ever saw in all my born days.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 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 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.’
      • ‘He doesn't know he's born!’
      • ‘What a softie—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.’
      • ‘The original poster should wake up and realise that he doesn't know he's born.’
  • there's one (or a sucker) born every minute

    • informal There are many gullible people.

      • ‘Seems as if they think that there's one born every minute.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, the comments show that there's one born every minute.’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There really is one born every minute.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There really is one born every minute!’
      • ‘There is an endless market for this kind of junk, a sucker born every minute at the very least.’
      • ‘While browsing through my spam this weekend I came across the quintessential proof that perhaps there is a sucker 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.’
      • ‘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's a sucker born every minute, or something like that, and tonight I met a big one.’
      • ‘‘There's a sucker born every minute,’ said P.T. Barnum, the circus impresario.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There's a sucker born every minute, and every one of them will fall for any worm and virus that hits their in-box.’
      • ‘Astrology proves one thing and one thing only—there's one born every minute.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As the man said—and he was in a position to know—there's 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.)’
  • i (or he, she, etc.) wasn't born yesterday

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

      • ‘But he wasn't born yesterday; he knows how the central bank works.’
      • ‘I understand second guessing, I will do it at times also, but let's use this to remember that Walt wasn't born yesterday.’
      • ‘I shook my head and she proceeded to tell me how trashy it looked and that she wasn't born yesterday.’
      • ‘I wasn't born yesterday okay?’
      • ‘I've heard a few things about these things; I wasn't born yesterday, you know.’
      • ‘Well, Gretel wasn't born yesterday and said, 'You know, witch, I'm not myself this morning.'’
      • ‘Kiffin is a young coach, Vic, but he wasn't born yesterday.’
      • ‘April's a piece of work, but I wasn't born yesterday.’
      • ‘I wasn't born yesterday, either.’
      • ‘She wasn't born yesterday; fifteen years in The Big Apple teaches you something.’
      • ‘We weren't born yesterday, and this has been going on for quite some time.’
      • ‘Williams says she wasn't going to let the cab driver take her, as she "wasn't born yesterday."’
      • ‘She knew, though; she wasn't born yesterday.’
      • ‘We baby boomers have one thing going for us in this political debate: We weren't born yesterday.’
      • ‘My baby may be ten days old, but she wasn't born yesterday.’
      • ‘Mel, I wasn't born yesterday; now go get ready before I change my mind.’
      • ‘Nice try, but I wasn't born yesterday!’
      • ‘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’
      • ‘Come on now, we weren't born yesterday.’
      • ‘This woman starts yelling and claiming she wasn't born yesterday and they have my signature and my bankruptcy paperwork.’


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