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  1. brought forth by birth.
  2. possessing from birth the quality, circumstances, or character stated: a born musician; a born fool.
  3. native to the locale stated; immigrated to the present place from the locale stated: a German-born scientist; a Chicago-born New Yorker.
  1. a past participle of bear1.
  1. born yesterday, naive; inexperienced: You can't fool me with that old trick—I wasn't born yesterday.

Origin of born

before 1000; Middle English; Old English boren (past participle of beran to bear1), equivalent to bor- past participle stem + -en -en3
Related formspre·born, adjectiveself-born, adjective
Can be confusedborn borne (see usage note at bear1)

Usage note

See bear1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for born yesterday


  1. Max . 1882–1970, British nuclear physicist, born in Germany, noted for his fundamental contribution to quantum mechanics: Nobel prize for physics 1954


  1. the past participle (in most passive uses) of bear 1 (def. 4)
  2. was not born yesterday is not gullible or foolish
  1. possessing or appearing to have possessed certain qualities from birtha born musician
    1. being at birth in a particular social status or other condition as specifiedignobly born
    2. (in combination)lowborn
  2. in all one's born days informal so far in one's life


Care should be taken not to use born where borne is intended: he had borne (not born) his ordeal with great courage; the following points should be borne in mind
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 born yesterday


Old English boren, alternative past participle of beran (see bear (v.)). Distinction between born and borne is 17c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with born yesterday

born yesterday


In addition to the idioms beginning with born

also see:

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.