Definition of cradle in English:



  • 1A baby's bed or cot, typically one mounted on rockers.

    ‘the baby slept peacefully in its cradle’
    • ‘Lifting the small child from the wicker cradle, Julius lifted his daughter high for all to see.’
    • ‘Cribs, cradles and bassinets are traditionally woven from wickerwork.’
    • ‘Here in Matthew's story we see the academy in a strange and unexpected place, gathered around the cradle of a baby.’
    • ‘I looked towards the never-ending horizon, which was already holding the sun like a baby in a cradle.’
    • ‘He bent down and picked up the large wooden cradle without any effort and followed Christina to her room.’
    • ‘In the summer of 1555 an ornate cradle was prepared and rockers appointed.’
    • ‘When I was a baby, she would lean over my cradle and that pendant would be before my eyes.’
    • ‘Brian opened the door and Rebekah walked in to see twelve little wooden cradles and beds.’
    • ‘Rockers were found on cradles as early as the fifteenth century.’
    • ‘Some were often placed in cradles with newborn babies.’
    • ‘The two of them walked to the cradle where the baby was still asleep.’
    • ‘She led him up to the glass wall of the nursery, where a nurse was putting a very tiny baby into a cradle.’
    • ‘Isabelle shouts to a stunned Guy and hurriedly puts her hands into the cradle, scooping baby Lucas into her arms.’
    • ‘Taylor picked up two babies and started to rock a cradle of a newborn with her knee.’
    • ‘Rolling out of the bed on opposite sides, we each grabbed a screaming baby from the cradle at the foot of the bed.’
    • ‘As soon as everyone stopped laughing, they noticed a few baby cradles at the other side of the room.’
    • ‘The baby stirred in her wooden rocking cradle.’
    • ‘He stepped up to the cradle where the baby girl lay, and picked her up in his aristocratic hands, smiling sadly, yet gently.’
    • ‘The shortage of necessary equipment such as cradles, beds and toys is acute.’
    • ‘She goes off and comes back a minute later with one of the blankets from the baby's cradle.’
    crib, bassinet, moses basket, cot, carrycot
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    1. 1.1the cradle Infancy.
      ‘the welfare state was set up to provide care from the cradle to the grave’
      • ‘A moral upgradation from the cradle, which must last to the grave, is essential.’
      • ‘All of which made sense in that his ability to control a game has been his greatest strength almost from the cradle.’
      • ‘We also strongly support the idea of savings from the cradle to the grave.’
      • ‘Clearly, there is need for the society to inculcate safety awareness from the cradle.’
      • ‘Those of us who are noble born learn to play almost from the cradle.’
      • ‘The voice he heard from the cradle articulated Smith's sort of socialism.’
      • ‘Preventative therapies for osteoporosis are the first line of defence and can begin from the cradle.’
      • ‘Mr Sata and Mr Hichilema have promised to offer free education from the cradle to the university.’
      • ‘Attitudinal change has to be brought out and last but not the least gender disparities removed from the cradle itself.’
      • ‘My lifelong friend, who I had know from the cradle, was not here by my side for the first time.’
      • ‘A person's journey from the cradle to the grave should be filled with joyous revelation, not filibustering and legislation.’
      • ‘In all their growing years, from the cradle until their 18th birthday, no one will ever, in any purposeful way, have said ‘No’ to them.’
      • ‘In our Party we understand that those needs extend from the cradle to the grave.’
      • ‘The importance of good breeding was such that Cicero could describe Ahenobarbus as consul-designate from the cradle.’
      • ‘Collins is 41, a politician from the cradle, living and breathing the Westminster air.’
      • ‘He has a sweet tooth like mine, but then again I joke that I was spoon-fed sugar from the cradle by my grandfather.’
      • ‘However, they had all known each other from the cradle.’
      • ‘Brown's paintings are like milestones marking the distance traveled from the cradle to points far into adulthood.’
      • ‘The sole aim of this massive gathering was to build leadership right from the cradle.’
      • ‘She can't help but remember the comment that they were practically betrothed from the cradle.’
      beginnings, very beginnings, early days, early stages, seeds, roots
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    2. 1.2the cradle of A place or process in which something originates or flourishes.
      ‘the Middle East is generally held to be the cradle of agriculture’
      • ‘Big cities are both cradles and magnets for enterprise and creativity.’
      • ‘They serve as a reminder of the soccer glory of the city, once a cradle of football talent in the country.’
      • ‘The Test was also a long-due acknowledgement of this region's place as the cradle of black rugby.’
      • ‘These societies were well known as the cradle of the country's elites.’
      • ‘Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to martyr sport as the cradle for world diplomacy.’
      • ‘It was not long before Hispanic ballplayers earned their well-deserved place in the cradle of American baseball.’
      • ‘A new chapter has begun in what was once the cradle of civilization of mankind.’
      • ‘Kosovo, in the south, is considered the cradle of Serbian civilization.’
      • ‘The turn of the century seemed to herald a turnaround for those living in the cradle of Christianity.’
      • ‘Glasgow might be the perceived cradle of cutting-edge art, but Edinburgh is no longer the staid sister it once was.’
      • ‘The majority of the action takes place in Africa, the so-called cradle of humanity.’
      • ‘The lake was the cradle of Andean civilisation and remains enduringly known as the birthplace of the Inca empire.’
      • ‘As the cradle of western civilisation, it is also your big fat spiritual home.’
      • ‘Remember, it's the cradle of democracy we're talking about.’
      • ‘Mother Afrika is the cradle of civilisation and not those geographic entities.’
      • ‘The cradle of the country's private businesses, it still suffers from its past today.’
      • ‘I'm sitting right here in the cradle of civilisation.’
      • ‘Furthermore, this land is the cradle and location of most of the important events of Christianity.’
      • ‘It has now been accepted in the palaeontological world that Africa is the cradle of mankind.’
      • ‘The longboat was launched before a crowd of about 500 at Town Beach, the cradle of history in this district.’
      birthplace, fount, fountainhead, source, spring, fountain, origin, place of origin, breeding place, nursery, root, roots, seat, seed, germ
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  • 2A framework on which a ship or boat rests during construction or repairs.

    • ‘High water levels, again, floated many boats off their lift cradles or up through roofs of covered docks.’
    • ‘The lifts, which carries boats in water on special cradles, closed in 1983 when corrosion was found during routine maintenance.’
    • ‘Calamity struck when the cradle on the trailer collapsed and crushed her boat.’
    • ‘The mighty carrier was launching out from the massive embracing cradle which till now had held it in port.’
    • ‘Sounds of voices barking instructions competed with the rattle of chains as the boat and cradle were lowered down the slipway.’
    framework, rack, holder, stand, base, support, mounting, mount, platform, prop, horse, rest, chock, plinth, bottom, trivet, bracket, frame, subframe, structure, substructure, chassis
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    1. 2.1British A framework on which a worker is suspended to work on a ceiling, ship, or the side of a high building.
      • ‘TWO workmen suspended on a cradle inside a 120 ft metal chimney died when they were engulfed in a fireball after a massive explosion.’
      • ‘Firefighters from the nearby Central Fire Station on Charter Row were quickly at the scene to secure the cradle.’
      • ‘Anthony was one of four men hurt when the high-rise window-cleaning cradle became detached.’
      • ‘The glass facade in tall structures can be cleaned either by using platform-like cradles or by handing-by-the-rope technique.’
      • ‘No matter how hard I studied how the twisted chord was dangled by the side of the cradle, I never managed to get it back the same.’
      • ‘Look at window cleaners, hanging in those little cradles on the sides of high rise buildings.’
      • ‘They were left dangling on a dislodged window cleaning cradle eight storeys above the ground.’
      • ‘Two exceptionally cute and perky Canadian men were washing the windows in a cradle suspended from the roof.’
      • ‘The Nottingham-based workers were on a cradle inside the 200 ft high chimney at the factory.’
    2. 2.2 The part of a telephone on which the receiver rests when not in use.
      • ‘There was an old desk and an empty cradle to a portable phone.’
      • ‘With that said, I slammed the phone back into its cradle and slid onto the sofa for some serious thinking time.’
      • ‘I picked the black cordless phone from the cradle at the third ring.’
      • ‘Cameron jumped up and went to get the phone from the cradle in the kitchen.’
      • ‘As soon as they pick up the phone from the cradle, however, or read an incoming text message, they would be liable for prosecution.’
      • ‘I sat the phone back on its cradle and sat on my bed.’
      • ‘I put the receiver back into its cradle and sighed.’
      • ‘After a moment, she took the telephone from its cradle, dialing in a number quickly, and the recipient answered.’
      • ‘He pulled the receiver out of the cradle and dialed the number for the poison center at the local hospital.’
      • ‘Max cursed as he slammed the receiver back onto the cradle.’
      • ‘I sat down on my bed after putting the phone back in its cradle.’
      • ‘He reached across his bed and lifted the phone from its cradle.’
      • ‘She picked up the cordless phone on the cradle beside her bed and pushed the power button.’
      • ‘Darla returned the phone to its cradle on her nightstand, and fell asleep again.’
      • ‘His fingers made their way to the cradle the receiver was resting on, then just snatched the thing off and held it to his ear.’
      • ‘Wordlessly, he replaced the phone back to its original cradle and idly picked up his jacket and suitcase.’
      • ‘Hanging up herself Elizabeth replaced her phone in its cradle beside her bed and threw off the covers.’
      • ‘I picked the phone up from the cradle and pressed it up against my ear.’
      • ‘I finally gave into my feelings and took the phone off of its mounted cradle.’
      • ‘Jessica looked at her and went to get her the phone from the cradle.’


[with object]
  • 1Hold gently and protectively.

    ‘she cradled his head in her arms’
    • ‘I was still cradled in his arms, only inches away from his face.’
    • ‘She sat with his head cradled in her lap and admired the perfect features of her beloved.’
    • ‘There he was slumped in a chair, whisky bottle cradled in his lap.’
    • ‘Julie pulled herself up onto shore with the bird gently cradled in her arms.’
    • ‘He had been cradling his face since he had entered the room minutes before.’
    • ‘Tory stood slowly, gathering her bag into her arms, cradling it protectively to her chest’
    • ‘She stood still as he rocked her gently, one hand cradling her head.’
    • ‘I cradled the phone in my palm; your voice was like my pulse.’
    • ‘One should cushion the fall, cradle, the head, remove glasses, and loosen tight clothes.’
    • ‘One arm wrapped around her waist as his other hand gently cradled her head towards him.’
    • ‘Luke said nothing, but gently pulled Jake into his shoulders and cradled him gently as he would a little child.’
    • ‘Jillian came across a picture of her parents, her mother cradling a small baby.’
    • ‘So O'Neill picked me up bridal style, cradling me gently in his arms.’
    • ‘With a groan, I heave him into my arms, carefully cradling his neck.’
    • ‘He simply turned and started to move up the stairs, Trish still cradled gently in his arms.’
    • ‘Becca cradled the phone gently between her jaw and collarbone.’
    • ‘I forced a smile and took another swallow from the cup that was cradled in my palms.’
    • ‘He sighed gently, cradling his bruised hand as an afterthought.’
    • ‘Men sat on top, with rifles cradled on their laps.’
    • ‘Strife sprinted onwards in the pouring rain, tenderly cradling his six-year-old daughter who was whimpering with fear.’
    hold, support, prop up, rest, pillow, bolster, cushion, shelter, protect
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    1. 1.1 Be the place of origin of.
      ‘the north-eastern states cradled an American industrial revolution’
      • ‘While the fallen have long since cast off their earthly form, the land which cradled them and shared their suffering will never disappear.’
      • ‘She was the youngest daughter's youngest: cherished and protected and spoiled, cradled within the family's golden cocoon.’
      • ‘Marconi is the person at Weidlinger whose mind is currently cradling the vorticity confinement idea.’
  • 2Place (a telephone receiver) in its cradle.

    ‘she cradled the receiver gently’
    • ‘The cell phone holder was designed to cradle cell phones keeping them locked in place while not in use.’
    • ‘Denise cradled the phone back on the receiver and stared off into space.’
    • ‘Ryann heard a click on the phone line, and she cradled the phone.’
    • ‘Leigh cradled the receiver carefully and looked at the small clock on the table beside her.’
    • ‘A telephone lay cradled in the perpendicular base under the directory.’
    • ‘She had a chocolate bar in one hand while the other cradled her cell phone.’
    • ‘Yoshida sits quietly in a corner, cradling his cell phone in one hand and running the other over his weary eyes.’
    • ‘Dad cradled the receiver just as the glob I flicked from my spoon landed directly on my brother's nose.’


Old English cradol, of uncertain origin; perhaps related to German Kratte ‘basket’.