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swaddling clothes

plural noun
clothes consisting of long, narrow strips of cloth for swaddling an infant.
long garments for an infant.
the period of infancy or immaturity, as of a person, or incipience, as of a thing:
Nuclear energy is still in its swaddling clothes.
rigid supervision or restriction of actions or movements, as of the immature:
new nations that are freeing themselves of their swaddling clothes.
Also called swaddling bands (for defs 1, 2).
Origin of swaddling clothes
1525-35 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for swaddling-bands
Historical Examples
  • He rises girt in the swaddling-bands of the tomb, once more to walk in the light of the living.

    Memories of Bethany John Ross Macduff
  • The helplessness of the French infant in its swaddling-bands means the liberty of the nurse—that is the whole explanation.

    Letters of Two Brides Honore de Balzac
  • I myself was thought beautiful by the women at one time—when I was in my swaddling-bands.

    Romola George Eliot
  • He tosses them aside as the swaddling-bands of the Church's infancy—childish fetters, too weak to hold the limbs of grown men.

  • The art of advertising being then in its swaddling-bands, this specimen of it struck its hearers as really creditable.

    Gideon's Band George W. Cable
  • Lay aside the swaddling-bands of your imperfections, conform your lives to the highest ideals of uprightness and truth.

  • Since the time was ripe, Wahaska did presently burst its swaddling-bands.

    The Price Francis Lynde
British Dictionary definitions for swaddling-bands

swaddling clothes

plural noun
long strips of linen or other cloth formerly wrapped round a newly born baby
restrictions or supervision imposed on the immature
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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