Definition of child in US English:

child

noun

  • 1A young human being below the age of puberty or below the legal age of majority.

    • ‘They bullied younger children, they teased girls, they fought boys weaker than themselves.’
    • ‘The ultrasound probe is used mainly for head scanning of newborn babies and young children.’
    • ‘Sometimes when I look back on my life as a child or young adolescent, it is through the eyes of a bemused observer.’
    • ‘Malnourishment prevents a child from reaching full mental and physical development.’
    • ‘Is it inevitable when a baby or a young child gets these autoantibodies that they go on to develop diabetes?’
    • ‘A young child needs to develop a sense that he or she is a good and valued human being on this earth.’
    • ‘He felt strongly about inequality of any kind and mentored young children excluded from school.’
    • ‘Twenty-one young children from the local schools marched in step, each child carrying a rose.’
    • ‘As a young child, Jane was often responsible for her own physical care and the care of her mother.’
    • ‘The six sessions include giving tips and ideas for playing with young children and toddlers.’
    • ‘It usually affects children, teenagers and young adults and requires daily injections of insulin.’
    • ‘Unions say that children as young as three have physically attacked teachers as well as other pupils.’
    • ‘While at play, toddlers and young children are usually in the care of older siblings.’
    • ‘Briefly, it showed a row of young children sitting on a school stage.’
    • ‘She says she does not know of any European countries where children started school as young as they do in Britain.’
    • ‘It was the smaller children and young girls who could not be expected to speak out.’
    • ‘On one occasion, we visited an orphanage and the youngest child, a 3 year old, fell asleep on my lap.’
    • ‘Our member companies are committed to the health and wellbeing of infants and young children.’
    • ‘I have issues with the shininess of cover designs for children and young adults this year.’
    • ‘Would you like to have your say on issues that effect children and young people?’
    youngster, young one, little one, boy, girl
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    1. 1.1 A son or daughter of any age.
      • ‘My four children and three step-children could have ended up without a father.’
      • ‘There they raised their own family of seven children, four sons and three daughters.’
      • ‘He had two children, but his son Michael died in a car accident 20 years ago.’
      • ‘The daughter now has a child of her own and is trying to complete high school.’
      • ‘His second child, a daughter, was born when he was still studying in Bangkok.’
      • ‘I have chosen to stay at home to bring up my daughter and any other children that I may choose to have.’
      • ‘He says that Caroline is not fit to bring up children and that his daughters are not staying in that immoral environment.’
      • ‘This is what it takes to be a good child; a good son; a good daughter; a good citizen.’
      • ‘Here was a father who lost not one but two children in quick succession, in the prime of their lives.’
      • ‘The couple had one child, their daughter Sonya, who went to Lady Eleanor Holles School in Hampton.’
      • ‘It was here they raised their family of six children, five sons and a daughter.’
      • ‘Outside in the yard was a father a mother and their two children, a son and a daughter.’
      • ‘I would be single and successful with no children, while still hanging on to some sort of cool bohemian style.’
      • ‘He and his wife have two children, a daughter who is approximately four years of age and a son who is about one.’
      • ‘The couple had three children, a daughter and two sons who work in the business.’
      • ‘As far as the newspaper was concerned, his father had only one child, a daughter.’
      • ‘She revelled in the academic and sporting successes of her children and grandchildren.’
      • ‘All parents want their children to be happy and most want their children to be successful.’
      • ‘Just over a year ago she gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Deva.’
      • ‘She said that if she had children she would want daughters like Holly.’
      descendant, offshoot
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    2. 1.2 An immature or irresponsible person.
      ‘she's such a child!’
      unworldly person, naive person
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    3. 1.3 A person who has little or no experience in a particular area.
      ‘he's a child in financial matters’
    4. 1.4childrenarchaic The descendants of a family or people.
      ‘the children of Abraham’
      descendants, heirs, successors, offspring, children, family, progeny, scions
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    5. 1.5child of A person or thing influenced by a specified environment.
      ‘a child of the Sixties’
      ‘OPEC was in a sense a child of the Cold War’
      • ‘And which child of the Generation Next is interested in collecting greeting cards?’
      • ‘I mean, it is an iD shareware product, the child of a small independent studio.’
      • ‘What is the destiny that is to be fulfilled, and who is the one true child of it?’
      • ‘They deeply fear a strange child of Feng Shui style energy lines.’
      • ‘Online dating has become the darling child of our media empire this decade.’

Phrases

  • child's play

    • A task which is easily accomplished.

      • ‘She makes bringing up baby sound like child's play.’
      • ‘Dealing with this should be child's play for a party with a will to win.’
      • ‘People think that it's just child's play but it's very demanding.’
      • ‘It is child's play to access your bank account and track your movements through your mobile or by the cash withdrawals that you make.’
      • ‘Obviously, profiting from such an intrusion requires skill; though as we've illustrated, getting inside the network is child's play.’
      • ‘His piano concertos - all five of them - are among the most eminently enjoyable works in that genre and no child's play at all.’
      • ‘Without much help from parents or teachers, an easy point and browse mechanism would be child's play.’
      • ‘Memorising the dates and events in your history books and the complex equations in chemistry would just be child's play.’
      • ‘The task would have been child's play to even the very worst of pickpockets.’
      • ‘She is now taking an advanced diploma, which is anything but child's play.’
  • from a child

    • Since childhood.

      • ‘He's also Sullivan's surrogate father, having raised him from a child to become one of his most loyal employees.’
      • ‘The Nick I've known from a child up until his adult age would never put his life ahead of the love for his family.’
      • ‘As the son of a minister who had been taught the Scriptures and the ways of God from a child, I had enough head knowledge to talk and fit into Christian situations.’
  • with child

    • archaic Pregnant.

      • ‘While I walk, I muse on art and life. Back home, I make breakfast for Rose, who is with child.’
      • ‘Yesterday, I drove out to St. Thomas to do a little private practice for one of my colleagues who is with child.’
      • ‘Slowly, her body returns to the form it was before she was with child.’
      • ‘The duke had no heirs, only a wife who was about five months with child.’
      • ‘Not being with child, I cannot attest to the truthfulness of the latter claim - and there is only so much I'll do in the name of research.’
      expecting a baby, having a baby, with a baby on the way, having a child, expectant, carrying a child
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Origin

Old English cild, of Germanic origin. The Middle English plural childer or childre became childeren or children by association with plurals ending in -en, such as brethren.

Pronunciation

child

/tʃaɪld//CHīld/