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See also: baby-sit


Alternative forms[edit]


Back-formation from babysitter.


  • IPA(key): /ˈbeɪ.bi.sɪt/
    • (file)


babysit (third-person singular simple present babysits, present participle babysitting, simple past and past participle babysat)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To watch or tend someone else's child for a period of time, often for money.
    My daughter is babysitting for the Morgans at number ten, who are going out on a date night.
    We need someone to babysit our children while we go to the theater.
    • 2012 May 27, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “New Kid On The Block” (season 4, episode 8; originally aired 11/12/1992)”, in The Onion AV Club[1]:
      Bart eventually gets Laura to babysit while Homer and Marge eat at the Sea Captain’s all-you-can-eat seafood joint, The Frying Dutchman.
  2. (transitive, informal) To watch or tend a thing or process without normally intervening in it, e.g. as a precaution should an emergency happen.
    The reaction takes several hours, so we leave a graduate student to babysit it.
  3. (transitive, informal) To watch or attend anything or anyone more closely than ought to be needed; to have to help or coax too much.
    Synonym: (partial) coddle
    He left me to babysit the new guy while he got some work done.
    • 2016, Christopher Vasey, Nazi Intelligence Operations in Non-Occupied Territories, page 175:
      It was observed by the FBI personnel assigned to “babysit” agent Tricycle that his egregiously excessive spending was causing unwanted attention []

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


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  1. imperative of babysitte