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noun, plural lull·a·bies.
  1. a song used to lull a child to sleep; cradlesong.
  2. any lulling song.
verb (used with object), lull·a·bied, lull·a·by·ing.
  1. to lull with or as with a lullaby.

Origin of lullaby

1550–60; equivalent to lulla, lulla(y), interjection used in cradlesongs (late Middle English lullai, lulli) + -by, as in bye-bye
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for lullaby


noun plural -bies
  1. a quiet song to lull a child to sleep
  2. the music for such a song
verb -bies, -bying or -bied
  1. (tr) to quiet or soothe with or as if with a lullaby

Word Origin

C16: perhaps a blend of lull + goodbye
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 lullaby


1560s, lulley by, from Middle English lollai, lullay, from lullen (see lull (v.)). Second element perhaps from by-by "good-by."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper