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[bam-bee-noh, bahm-; Italian bahm-bee-naw] /bæmˈbi noʊ, bɑm-; Italian bɑmˈbi nɔ/
noun, plural bambinos Italian, bambini
[bahm-bee-nee] /bɑmˈbi ni/ (Show IPA)
a small child or baby.
an image of the infant Jesus.
Origin of bambino
1755-65; < Italian, equivalent to bamb(o) childish (perhaps orig. nursery word) + -ino diminutive suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bambino
Historical Examples
  • The bambino, to express his agony, was grinning from ear to ear.

    Little Novels of Italy Maurice Henry Hewlett
  • He declared that the bambino was a masterpiece, a pure Corregio.

  • That night bambino was on his way to Liverpool, from which port the steamer started.

    Jack Harkaway in New York Bracebridge Hemyng
  • As he spoke, bambino drew a long knife and made a thrust with it at Harkaway.

    Jack Harkaway in New York Bracebridge Hemyng
  • Even bambino, wretch that he was, had known what it was to love, and he sighed for her misery.

    Jack Harkaway in New York Bracebridge Hemyng
  • bambino promised to bring her round that evening, and took his departure.

    Jack Harkaway in New York Bracebridge Hemyng
  • bambino pointed to Harkaway, who was only a few yards ahead.

    Jack Harkaway in New York Bracebridge Hemyng
  • bambino, the Italian, is the paid spy and assassin of Maltravers.

    Jack Harkaway in New York Bracebridge Hemyng
  • Your place is there to fight for our bambino and his country—you just forgot for a little while.

    The Fall of a Nation Thomas Dixon
  • When I tear the red crown from the staff I wave this one and shout for my bambino.

    The Fall of a Nation Thomas Dixon
British Dictionary definitions for bambino


noun (pl) -nos, -ni (-niː)
(informal) a young child, esp an Italian one
a representation of the infant Jesus
Word Origin
C18: from Italian
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
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Word Origin and History for bambino

"little child," 1761, from Italian bambino, "baby," a diminutive of bambo "simple" (cf. Latin bambalio "dolt," Greek bambainein "to stammer"). In U.S. baseball lore, a nickname of George Herman "Babe" Ruth Jr. (1895-1948).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for bambino



  1. A baby or young child
  2. A ruffian; an intimidating man; gorilla, torpedo •In the mid1800s babe, ''rowdy, blackguard,'' is attested; the identification of infant and goon is durable

[1920s+; fr Italian, ''baby,'' literally ''silly little one'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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