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swaddling clothes

plural noun
1.
clothes consisting of long, narrow strips of cloth for swaddling an infant.
2.
long garments for an infant.
3.
the period of infancy or immaturity, as of a person, or incipience, as of a thing:
Nuclear energy is still in its swaddling clothes.
4.
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
1525-1535
First recorded in 1525-35
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for swaddling clothes
Historical Examples
  • Even the babies in swaddling clothes are gone to the vineyards!

  • You've got a big idea, but it's not out of swaddling clothes.

  • In 1822 the Mexican nation was still in its swaddling clothes.

    Mexico and its Religion Robert A. Wilson
  • Remember, dear lady, that Democracy is a babe not yet out of swaddling clothes.

    The Fall of a Nation Thomas Dixon
  • But you and I have thrown off the swaddling clothes in which we were reared.

    A Gamble with Life Silas K. Hocking
  • They are still wrapped in the swaddling clothes of politics.

    Psycho-Phone Messages Francis Grierson
  • She had seen the water there ever since she had been a babe in swaddling clothes.

    The Waters of Edera Louise de la Rame, a.k.a. Ouida
  • First, He was "wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger."

    Our Master Bramwell Booth
  • How is it possible for a child who has never been out of swaddling clothes to walk?

    Amiel's Journal Henri-Frdric Amiel
  • She crossed the room to the window, and removed a layer of swaddling clothes very gently.

    The Wall Street Girl Frederick Orin Bartlett
British Dictionary definitions for swaddling clothes

swaddling clothes

plural noun
1.
long strips of linen or other cloth formerly wrapped round a newly born baby
2.
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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Word Value for swaddling

15
18
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