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[kresh, kreysh; French kresh] /krɛʃ, kreɪʃ; French krɛʃ/
noun, plural crèches
[kresh-iz, krey-shiz; French kresh] /ˈkrɛʃ ɪz, ˈkreɪ ʃɪz; French krɛʃ/ (Show IPA)
a small or large modeled representation or tableau of Mary, Joseph, and others around the crib of Jesus in the stable at Bethlehem, as is displayed in homes or erected for exhibition in a community at Christmas season.
a home for foundlings.
British. a day-care center; day nursery.
Animal Behavior. an assemblage of dependent young that are cared for communally.
Origin of crèche
1785-95; < French, Old French < Frankish *kripja crib Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for creche
Historical Examples
  • He had no doubt that every word of this conversation was being monitored by the Fanatics outside the creche.

    Turning Point Alfred Coppel
  • Third, the artificial persons that streamed from the creche were blasphemy.

    Turning Point Alfred Coppel
  • The creche Director stood eyeing him half-fearfully, half-defiantly, flanked by his wife and his assistant.

    Turning Point Alfred Coppel
  • "But the creche is here, and I am here to guard it as my forefathers did," Merrick said.

    Turning Point Alfred Coppel
  • There are almost a thousand androids in the creche as of this morning.

    Turning Point Alfred Coppel
  • Every human being within the creche died so, but there was still life.

    Turning Point Alfred Coppel
  • And the Masters had to work in the creche whenever anything really new had to be put into the prototype brain.

    Masters of Space Edward Elmer Smith
  • What they really need is a combination palace, houseboat, sanatorium, and creche.

    Fanny Herself Edna Ferber
  • In the lowest vaults of the creche, Merrick showed the Prophet the infants.

    Turning Point Alfred Coppel
  • Occasionally, a door opened almost soundlessly, and a white-clad figure would check the graph tapes on the creche's meters.

    Operation Haystack Frank Patrick Herbert
British Dictionary definitions for creche


/krɛʃ; kreɪʃ; French krɛʃ/
(mainly Brit)
  1. a day nursery for very young children
  2. a supervised play area provided for young children for short periods
a tableau of Christ's Nativity
a foundling home or hospital
Word Origin
C19: from Old French: manger, crib, ultimately of Germanic origin; compare Old High German kripja crib
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 creche

"Christmas manger scene," 1792, from French crèche, from Old French cresche (13c.) "crib, manger, stall," ultimately from a Germanic source, cf. Old High German kripja, Old English cribb (see crib). Also "a public nursery for infants where they are cared for while their mothers are at work" (1854).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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