baby

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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See also: Baby

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

A human baby
A baby monkey
A baby elephant (sometimes called a calf)

From Middle English baby, babie (baby), a diminutive form of babe (babe, baby), equivalent to babe +‎ -y/-ie (endearing and diminutive suffix).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

baby (plural babies)

  1. A very young human, particularly from birth to a couple of years old or until walking is fully mastered.
    • 2017 January 19, Peter Bradshaw, “T2 Trainspotting review – choose a sequel that doesn't disappoint”, in the Guardian[1]:
      In that film, I often hid my head in my hands, unable to watch scenes about dead babies and diving into gruesome lavatories.
  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 chicks for the babies of birds. See Category:Baby animals for more.
  3. Unborn young; a fetus.
    When is your baby due?
  4. A person who is immature, infantile or feeble.
    Stand up for yourself – don't be such a baby!
  5. A person who is new to or inexperienced in something.
    I only qualified as an architect this summer, so I'm still a baby.
  6. The lastborn of a family; the youngest sibling, irrespective of age.
    Adam is the baby of the family.
    • 1930, Norman Lindsay, Redheap, Sydney: Ure Smith, published 1965, page 114:
      `He's a year older than me.' `You're the baby, eh?'
  7. A term of endearment used to refer to or address one's girlfriend, boyfriend or spouse.
    Too busy thinking about my baby, and I ain't got time for nothing else.
    Baby, don't cry.
  8. (informal) A form of address to a man or a woman considered to be attractive.
    Hey baby, what are you doing later?
  9. A pet project or responsibility.
    You need to talk to John about that – it's his baby.
    • 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 […].
  10. An affectionate term for anything.
    See my new car here? I can't wait to take this baby for a drive.
  11. (archaic) A small image of an infant; a doll.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also[edit]

Adjective[edit]

baby (comparative babier or babyer, superlative babiest or babyest)

  1. (of vegetables, etc.) Picked when small and immature (as in baby corn, baby potatoes).
  2. Newest (overall, or in some group or state), most inexperienced.
    • 1894, Marion Harland, The Royal Road, Or, Taking Him at His Word, page 136:
      Mrs. Paull held out her hand to the babyest of the quartette, as they tiptoed up to the bed. “Lift her up, please, Marie!” she said, motioning to the place enclosed by her arm. When the rosy cheek touched hers upon the pillow, she asked ...
    • 1910, Marion Harland, Marion Harland's Autobiography: The Story of a Long Life, page 408:
      That evening, we grouped about the fire in the parlor, a wide circle that left room for the babyest of the party to disport themselves upon the rug, in the glow of the grate piled with cannel coal.
    • 2006, Marion Halligan, The Apricot Colonel, Allen & Unwin (→ISBN)
      Of when I was a baby editor. Very baby, it was actually a kind of work experience, I was still at university but I knew what I wanted. With a small independent publisher, good reputation, did some marvellous books, []
    • 2020, Hannah Abigail Clarke, The Scapegracers, Erewhon (→ISBN), page 391:
      [] party for Halloween proper? Just the four of us and some goofy, spooky kids' movies, you know? Some cute pumpkin-shaped cupcakes? I could make my dog a little costume. He could be a baby witch. The babyest Scapegracer.” I blinked.
  3. (in the comparative or superlative) Like or pertaining to a baby, in size or youth; small, young.
    • 1888, Monthly Packet, page 170:
      Spider. Here let us begin at the beginning, at the babyest of books for Edith's nursery.
    • 1894, Edith E. Cuthell, Two Little Children and Ching, page 107:
      She let it drop out of her sleeve, and it was two Chings — the dearest, littlest, babyest, tiny Chings — little balls of fur! And she ran away, and daddy's father picked them up, and put them in his pockets, and brought them home, []
    • 1908, Marion Harland, Housekeeper's Guide and Family Physician, page 98:
      Lemon-juice for ink spots: Not many weeks ago the babyest member of our household - perhaps moved by a hereditary tendency toward ink - slinging - divided the contents of an ink bottle impartially between the tiles of the bath-room floor ...
    • 1908, Mary Findlater, Jane Helen Findlater, Crossriggs, page 25:
      "There's a babier baby than Mike," she said. "But you will see her to-morrow. Aren't we rich? Come in and see Matilda - you won't find her much changed. It's so absurd to see her with all these children."
    • 1936, United States. Congress. House. Committee on Military Affairs, To Promote the National Defense by Stengthening the Air Reserve, Hearings ..., on H.R. 4348, 12241, Feb 27, April 22, 1936, page 31:
      Now, we all believe in national defense, but we also believe in peacetime activity, and my personal idea about aviation is that it is still in its absolute “babyest” type of infancy, that it is nothing even approaching what it will be even 10 years [from now].

Further reading[edit]

  • 1987, Raphael Sappan, The Rhetorical-logical Classification of Semantic Changes, volume 5, page 58:
    Baby. In its attributive uses, the word has the meaning 'small, tiny'. In the following sentence it is a metonym, still preserving its relation to the original meaning: “There is a babier baby than M.” (in the entry baby of the first volume of  []

Verb[edit]

baby (third-person singular simple present babies, present participle babying, simple past and past participle babied)

  1. (transitive) To coddle; to pamper somebody like an infant.
    • 1922, Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt, Chapter, [2]
      [] 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," [3]
      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, [4]
      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, [5]
      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.

Derived terms[edit]

Terms derived from the adjective, noun, or verb baby

Pages starting with “baby”.

Related terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Danish[edit]

Danish Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia da

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English baby.

Noun[edit]

baby c (singular definite babyen, plural indefinite babyer)

  1. A baby, an infant.
  2. (slang) An attractive young female.

Inflection[edit]

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English baby.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈbeːbi/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: ba‧by

Noun[edit]

baby m (plural baby's or babies, diminutive baby'tje n)

  1. baby (infant)
    Synonym: zuigeling

Derived terms[edit]


Finnish[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈbei̯bi/, [ˈbe̞i̯bi]
  • IPA(key): /ˈbɑby/, [ˈbɑby] (rare)

Noun[edit]

baby

  1. baby (term of endearment)
  2. baby (very young human)

Declension[edit]

This spelling should preferably be used in nominative only as it does not fit into any standard inflection scheme.

Inflection of baby (Kotus type 1/valo, no gradation)
nominative baby babyt
genitive babyn babyjen
partitive babyä babyjä
illative babyyn babyihin
singular plural
nominative baby babyt
accusative nom. baby babyt
gen. babyn
genitive babyn babyjen
partitive babyä babyjä
inessive babyssä babyissä
elative babystä babyistä
illative babyyn babyihin
adessive babyllä babyillä
ablative babyltä babyiltä
allative babylle babyille
essive babynä babyinä
translative babyksi babyiksi
instructive babyin
abessive babyttä babyittä
comitative babyineen
Possessive forms of baby (type valo)
possessor singular plural
1st person babyni babymme
2nd person babysi babynne
3rd person babynsä

Synonyms[edit]

  • (very young human) vauva
  • (term of endearment) kulta

French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From English

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

baby m (plural babys)

  1. table soccer, table football
  2. baby, darling, sweetheart

Further reading[edit]


Interlingua[edit]

Noun[edit]

baby

  1. baby

Synonyms[edit]


Italian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From English baby.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

baby m (invariable)

  1. child, baby, neonate
  2. a small shot of whisky
  3. tripod for a film camera

Adjective[edit]

baby (invariant)

  1. For use by young children
  2. Very young

Lower Sorbian[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

baby

  1. inflection of baba:
    1. genitive singular
    2. nominative/accusative plural

Norwegian Bokmål[edit]

Norwegian Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia no

Etymology[edit]

From English baby

Noun[edit]

baby m (definite singular babyen, indefinite plural babyer, definite plural babyene)

  1. a baby

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]


Norwegian Nynorsk[edit]

Norwegian Nynorsk Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia nn

Etymology[edit]

From English baby

Noun[edit]

baby m (definite singular babyen, indefinite plural babyar, definite plural babyane)

  1. a baby

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]


Polish[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

baby f

  1. inflection of baba:
    1. genitive singular
    2. nominative/accusative/vocative plural

Slovak[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

baby

  1. inflection of baba:
    1. genitive singular
    2. nominative/accusative plural

Spanish[edit]

Noun[edit]

baby m (plural babys)

  1. baby