Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

babe

[beyb]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a baby or child.
  2. an innocent or inexperienced person.
  3. (usually initial capital letter) Southern U.S. (used, often before the surname, as a familiar name for a boy or man, especially the youngest of a family.)
  4. Slang.
    1. Sometimes Disparaging and Offensive.a girl or woman, especially an attractive one: Her roommate is a real babe!
    2. an attractive young man.
    3. (sometimes initial capital letter)an affectionate or familiar term of address (sometimes offensive when used to strangers, casual acquaintances, subordinates, etc., especially by a male to a female).
Show More
Idioms
  1. babe in the woods, an innocent, unsuspecting person, especially one likely to be victimized by others: Some highly informed people are mere babes in the woods where the stock market is concerned.Also babe in the wood.
Show More

Origin of babe

1150–1200; 1915–20 for def 4; Middle English; early Middle English baban, probably nursery word in origin

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. toddler, infant, tot, nursling.

Ruth2

[rooth]
noun
  1. George HermanBabe, 1895–1948, U.S. baseball player.
Show More

Zaharias

[zuh-hair-ee-uh s, -har-]
noun
  1. Mildred Did·rik·son [did-rik-suh n] /ˈdɪd rɪk sən/, Babe, 1914–56, U.S. track-and-field athlete and golfer.
Show More
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for babe

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for babe

babe

noun
  1. a baby
  2. informal a naive, gullible, or unsuspecting person (often in the phrase a babe in arms)
  3. informal a young woman or man perceived as being sexually attractive
Show More

ruth

noun archaic
  1. pity; compassion
  2. repentance; remorse
  3. grief or distress
Show More

Word Origin

C12: from rewen to rue 1

Ruth

noun
  1. Old Testament
    1. a Moabite woman, who left her own people to remain with her mother-in-law Naomi, and became the wife of Boaz; an ancestress of David
    2. the book in which these events are recounted
  2. George Herman, nicknamed Babe . 1895–1948, US professional baseball player from 1914 to 1935
Show More
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for babe

n.

late 14c., short for baban (early 13c.), which probably is imitative of baby talk (cf. babble), however in many languages the cognate word means "old woman" (cf. Russian babushka "grandmother," from baba "peasant woman").

Crist crid in cradil, "moder, baba!" [John Audelay, c.1426]

Now mostly superseded by its diminutive form baby. Used figuratively for "a childish person" from 1520s. Meaning "attractive young woman" is 1915, college slang. Babe in the woods is from 1795.

Show More

Ruth

fem. proper name, biblical ancestor of David, from Hebrew Ruth, probably a contraction of reuth "companion, friend, fellow woman."

Show More

ruth

n.

"sorrow for the misery of another; repentance, regret," c.1200, ruthe, from Old Norse hryggð "ruth, sorrow," from hryggr "sorrowful, grieved" (see rue (v.)) + Proto-Germanic abstract noun suffix *-itho (see -th (2)). Or else formed in English from reuwen "to rue" on the model of true/truth, etc. The Old English word was rue (n.2).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

babe in Culture

Ruth

The great-grandmother of King David, known for her kindness and faithfulness. Not an Israelite herself, she married an Israelite who had come to her country with his family. Ruth's husband died, and her mother-in-law, Naomi, set out to return to the country of the Israelites. Ruth insisted on accompanying Naomi, saying, “ Whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge.” In the country of the Israelites, Ruth married Boaz, a rich relative of her dead husband; Boaz had been attracted to Ruth by her generosity. Her story is told in the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament.

Show More
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.