Definition of baby in English:



  • 1A very young child, especially one newly or recently born.

    ‘his wife's just had a baby’
    [as modifier] ‘a baby girl’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Lydia didn't even want a baby; boy or girl, name or no name, what did it matter to her?’
    • ‘We breed, we make babies, the babies are either girls or boys.’
    • ‘There were old and young people, little boys and girls, teenagers and babies in prams.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You see babies and you see infants - tiny, tiny babies, some as young as a week old.’
    • ‘The theme of ‘the four ages of dental health’ will explore problems faced by babies, children, teenagers and the elderly.’
    • ‘Does smoking during pregnancy cause other problems in babies or 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.’
    • ‘And she opens up to showbiz tonight about being grandma to Gwyneth Paltrow's baby daughter.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The quadruplets, two boys and two girl babies, are also Niloufer Hospital's first.’
    • ‘I suppose there may have been men, women, girls, boys, babies among them, but I saw no faces.’
    • ‘As they looked at their tiny newborn babies, these brave young survivors felt a powerful surge of protection.’
    • ‘The ultrasound probe is used mainly for head scanning of newborn 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.’
    • ‘This age range is the hardest to find carers for as most people choose to provide foster care for babies and young children.’
    infant, newborn, child, tot, little one
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    1. 1.1A young or newly born animal.
      • ‘The goal in this case is to return a Neanderthal baby to his family.’
    2. 1.2The youngest member of a family or group.
      ‘Clara 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.’
      • ‘Still, for the baby of the family, most people prefer the cleanliness and purity of white.’
      • ‘She is, after all, the baby of the family and she needs me the most.’
      • ‘Kevin hopes to have the baby of the family, the gallant John Joe, groomed for the next event.’
      • ‘Two have already left home and the baby in our family is 13.’
      • ‘Sharon was the baby of the family.’
      • ‘I'm the baby of my family too and I can sympathize on the younger cousin deal.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The baby of the family has a picture of Denis over his own bed at home.’
      • ‘He was only 12 and the baby of the family as our other children have all grown up and left home.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘After years of being the baby of the family, I decided to meet my parents on neutral ground.’
      • ‘He's from a family of five tennis players, Tracy Austin, the baby of the family.’
      • ‘From what Jim told him, Hannah Dawson is the baby of the family.’
      • ‘Nesbitt was the baby of the family growing up in Antrim.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Here, Washoe was no longer the baby of the family but was now living with chimpanzees a few years younger than herself.’
      youngest, junior member
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    3. 1.3A timid or childish person.
      ‘“Don't be such a baby!” she said witheringly’
      • ‘Maybe I shouldn't be such a baby about things, but I am upset with my doctor's office right now.’
      • ‘Stop being such a baby.’
    4. 1.4informal One's particular responsibility, achievement, or concern.
      ‘“This is your baby, Gerry,” she said, handing him the brief’
      • ‘I believe it's your baby now but please do some more research.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2informal A young woman or a person with whom one is having a romantic relationship (often as a form of address)

    ‘my baby left me for another guy’
    ‘baby, don't cry!’
    • ‘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
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    1. 2.1A thing regarded with affection or familiarity.
      ‘this baby can reach speeds of 140 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
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  • 1[attributive] Comparatively small or immature of its kind.

    ‘a baby grand piano’
    • ‘The shirt was a pink baby tee with a tiny pocket on the right side of my chest.’
    • ‘Not the display case where you can buy fake nose rings and baby tees and mini glowsticks to roll around on your tongue.’
    • ‘We are the sole commercial outlet for the impressive GM6, which is a baby version of our popular GM2 gear motor.’
    • ‘Looking for a used grand or baby grand piano?’
    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
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    1. 1.1(of vegetables) picked before reaching their usual size.
      ‘baby carrots’
      • ‘Any vegetable producer tan package baby carrots or cut-up celery in individual portions.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The spring veggies were another hit: baby carrots, asparagus, French greens and corn in light soy sauce.’
      • ‘At this time of year garden centres have tray upon tray of baby vegetables all ready for planting out.’
      • ‘Their food selection was fair and I eventually had a tuna steak with rice and baby carrots.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Courgettes are actually baby marrows, just picked earlier from the plant.’
      • ‘If you love to munch on baby carrots as snacks, dip them in reduced-fat dressing, she suggests.’
      • ‘The only disappointment is the baby potatoes that were obviously frozen.’
      • ‘The roasted baby onions added an extra sweet layer in an exceptionally moist duck for €22.95.’
      • ‘My son and I polished off the baby carrots and radishes before we even got home!’
      • ‘Sometimes with deals like this, you are punished with minute servings, but the bowl was full of juicy baby mushrooms.’
      • ‘If you want to be veggie, go for the selection of baby vegetables with garlic flavoured tomato concentrate.’
      • ‘So fill in by serving baby carrots or sliced red or green peppers or cucumbers with light ranch dressing.’
      • ‘Good though it was, it was eclipsed by the fantastic tapering baby carrots on which it sat.’
      • ‘The fish had a deliciously crispy skin, moist flesh and was served with baby onions and carrots.’
      • ‘Top and tail the green beans, peel the baby onions or cut the spring onion into 2.5cm pieces.’
      • ‘In a pan of boiling water cook the baby potatoes for 10-12 mins until cooked through.’
      • ‘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.’


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

    ‘her aunt babied her and fussed over her clothes’
    • ‘However, he was tired of her always babying him.’
    • ‘He wouldn't get better if they babied him all the time.’
    • ‘I finally gave into Bryan's demands that I stop babying him and let him drive himself.’
    • ‘I don't plan on babying him at all, and I don't want him to feel embarrassed by my crazy antics.’
    • ‘He accused her of babying him up, and treating him too nicely.’
    • ‘So I've been babying her and giving her extra treats and stuff.’
    • ‘Did she want me to pull out her chair for her, or would she see that as babying her?’
    • ‘I would hate having to carry him after the fuss I made about not babying him anymore.’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘‘Your mother always babied you,’ he continued.’
    • ‘Adair's father acted more like a father to Kathleen then he did to Mark and Persephone, and they all babied Kathleen ridiculously.’
    • ‘Those middle school teachers babied us too much.’
    • ‘But maybe he shouldn't have babied her as he had.’
    • ‘This was because of the way Daddy babied me, as though I was still six years old.’
    • ‘She tells him he doesn't need to push himself, but he disagrees, and wishes that she would stop babying him.’
    • ‘I know you feel like we are babying you, but we are trying to protect you.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She becomes bold and refuses the will of her husband, and she repudiates babying her children.’
    • ‘Brett still babied her and came home early from work to be with her.’
    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 inessential or undesirable.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In this case, I don't see how you could ‘close the loophole’ without 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.’
      • ‘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.’


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