baby
Pronunciation Noun

baby (plural babies)

  1. A very young human, particularly from birth to a couple of years old or until walking is fully mastered.
  2. Any very young animal, especially a vertebrate; many species have specific names for their babies, such as kittens for the babies of cats, puppies for the babies of dogs, and chickens for the babies of birds. See Baby animals for more.
  3. Unborn young; a fetus.
    When is your baby due?
  4. A person who is immature or infantile.
    Stand up for yourself - don't be such a baby!
  5. The lastborn of a family; the youngest sibling, irrespective of age.
  6. Term of endearment for a girlfriend or boyfriend or spouse.
  7. (informal) A form of address to a man or a woman considered to be attractive.
    Hey baby, what are you doing later?
  8. A pet project or responsibility.
    • 1996, Orlando Figes, A People's Tragedy, Folio Society 2015, p. 902:
      Sovnarkom was Lenin's baby, it was where he focused all his energies […].
  9. An affectionate term for anything.
    See my new car here? I can't wait to take this baby for a drive.
  10. (archaic) A small image of an infant; a doll.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Adjective

baby (not comparable) (used only before the noun)

  1. Of a child: very young; of the age when he or she would be termed a baby or infant.
    a baby boy
  2. Of an animal: young.
    a baby elephant
  3. Intended for babies.
    baby clothes
  4. (of vegetables, etc.) Picked when small and immature (as in baby corn, baby potatoes).
Synonyms Translations Translations
  • French: petit (additionally, as in English, there are special terms for the young of some animals)
Translations
  • French: pour bébé
  • Italian: per i bimbi
  • Russian: де́тский
Verb

baby (babies, present participle babying; past babied, past participle babied)

  1. (transitive) To coddle; to pamper somebody like an infant.
    • 1922, Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt, Chapter,
      […] though he tried to be gruff and mature, he yielded to her and was glad to be babied.
    • 1944, Emily Carr, The House of All Sorts, "Friction,"
      Then the man effected measles and stayed off the job for six weeks, babying himself at home, though he lived just round the corner from my half-built house.
  2. (transitive) To tend (something) with care; to be overly attentive to (something), fuss over.
    • 1967, "Mr. Mac and His Team," Time, 31 March, 1967, [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,941104,00.html]
      In the past 27 years, "Mr. Mac," as he is known to his 46,000 teammates, has built and babied his McDonnell Co. from nothing into a $1 billion-a-year corporation.
    • 1912, Linda Craig, interviewed by Theresa Forte, "Tree and Twig farm — a treasure chest of heirloom tomatoes," Welland Tribune, 25 May, 2012, [https://web.archive.org/web/20171205052150/http://www.wellandtribune.ca/2012/05/23/tree-and-twig-farm--a-treasure-chest-of-heirloom-tomatoes]
      I have grown them for years and although some years are better than others, I have always had loads of tomatoes by not babying them, going easy on the water, and fertilizing with compost in the planting hole.
Related terms


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