see also: Child
Pronunciation Noun


  1. A person who has not yet reached adulthood, whether natural (puberty), cultural (initiation), or legal (majority)
    Go easy on him: he is but a child.
  2. (obsolete, specifically) a female child, a girl.
    • c. 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The VVinters Tale”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene iii]:
      A boy or a child, I wonder?
  3. (with possessive) One's direct descendant by birth, regardless of age; a son or daughter.
    My youngest child is forty-three this year.
  4. (cartomancy) The thirteenth Lenormand card.
  5. (figuratively) A figurative offspring, particularly:
    1. A person considered a product of a place or culture, a member of a tribe or culture, regardless of age.
      The children of Israel.
      He is a child of his times.
      • 1984, Mary Jane Matz, The Many Lives of Otto Kahn: A Biography, page 5:
        For more than forty years, he preached the creed of art and beauty. He was heir to the ancient wisdom of Israel, a child of Germany, a subject of Great Britain, later an American citizen, but in truth a citizen of the world.
      • 2009, Edward John Moreton Dunsany, Tales of Wonder, page 64:
        Plash-Goo was of the children of the giants, whose sire was Uph. And the lineage of Uph had dwindled in bulk for the last five hundred years, till the giants were now no more than fifteen foot high; but Uph ate elephants […]
    2. Anything derived from or caused by something.
      • 1991, Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children
      Poverty, disease, and despair are the children of war.
    3. (computing) A data item, process, or object which has a subservient or derivative role relative to another.
      The child node then stores the actual data of the parent node.
      • 2011, John Mongan, Noah Kindler, Eric Giguère, Programming Interviews Exposed
        The algorithm pops the stack to obtain a new current node when there are no more children (when it reaches a leaf).
  6. Alternative form of childe#English|childe (“youth of noble birth”)
Synonyms Antonyms Related terms Translations Translations Translations
  • Portuguese: filho
  • Russian: доче́рний

child (childs, present participle childing; past and past participle childed)

  1. (archaic, ambitransitive) To give birth; to beget or procreate.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Qveene. […], part II (books IV–VI), London: Printed [by Richard Field] for VVilliam Ponsonbie, OCLC 932900760 ↗, book VI, canto XII, stanza 17, page 512 ↗:
      My liefe (ſayd ſhe) ye know, that long ygo, / Whileſt ye in durance dwelt, ye to me gaue / A little mayde, the which ye chylded tho ; / The ſame againe if now ye liſt to haue, / The ſame is yonder Lady, whom high God did ſaue.
    • c. 1603–1606, [William Shakespeare], […] His True Chronicle Historie of the Life and Death of King Lear and His Three Daughters. […] (First Quarto), London: Printed for Nathaniel Butter, […], published 1608, OCLC 54196469 ↗, [Act III, scene v] ↗:
      {...}}But then the mind much ſufferance doth or'e ſcip, / When griefe hath mates,and bearing fellowſhip : / How light and portable my paine ſeemes now, / When that which makes me bend, makes the King bow, / He childed as I fathered,Tom away, / Marke the high noyſes and thy ſelfe bewray,{{...}



  1. Alternative letter-case form of child often used when referring to God (Jesus) or another important child who is understood from context.
    • 1906, Record of Christian Work, volume 25, page 861:
      He appeared as an only begotten Child, as a Child calling us to be children also, and yet with this difference, that He and His Father maintained a holy intimacy with each other which no one dared to share.
Proper noun
  1. Surname

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