[ bey-bee ]
See synonyms for: babybabiedbabiesbabying on

noun,plural ba·bies.
  1. an infant or very young child.

  2. a newborn or very young animal.

  1. the youngest member of a family, group, etc.: I was the baby of the family for ten years, until my twin brothers were born.

  2. an adult who behaves like a child; an immature, helpless, or fearful person: Just swallow the medicine—don't be such a baby!

  3. a human fetus: The baby hasn’t arrived yet, but the nursery is ready.

  4. Informal.

    • Sometimes Disparaging and Offensive. a girl or woman, especially an attractive one.

    • a person of whom one is deeply fond; sweetheart.

    • (sometimes initial capital letter) an affectionate or familiar address (sometimes offensive when used to strangers, casual acquaintances, subordinates, etc., especially by a male to a female).

    • a man or boy; fellow: He's a tough baby to have to deal with.

    • an invention, creation, project, or the like that requires one's special attention or expertise or of which one is especially proud: His charitable foundation is his baby and it truly shows.

    • an object; thing: Those big babies can carry a lot of cargo.

  1. of or suitable for a baby: baby clothes.

  2. of or like a baby; infantile: baby skin.

  1. treating babies: a baby doctor.

  2. small; comparatively little: baby eggplants.

verb (used with object),ba·bied, ba·by·ing.
  1. to treat like a young child; pamper: She still babies her son although he's nearly 24.

  2. to handle or use with special care; treat gently.

Origin of baby

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English; see origin at babe, -y2

Other words for baby

Other words from baby

  • ba·by·hood, noun
  • ba·by·ish, adjective
  • ba·by·ish·ly, adverb
  • ba·by·ish·ness, noun
  • ba·by·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use baby in a sentence

  • The same outpourings of affection are seen in the dealings of children with their toy babies and animals.

    Children's Ways | James Sully
  • And you know that all babies, especially little babies, sleep a great deal.

    Our Little Korean Cousin | H. Lee M. Pike
  • Yung Pak's earliest days were spent very much as are those of most babies, whether they live in Korea or America.

    Our Little Korean Cousin | H. Lee M. Pike
  • Some of those babies we know are cared for on cushions of down and wrapped in soft flannels and delicate muslins.

  • Josie says, "I think they were real cross not to let a little girl just look at their babies."

British Dictionary definitions for baby


/ (ˈbeɪbɪ) /

nounplural -bies
    • a newborn or recently born child; infant

    • (as modifier): baby food

  1. an unborn child; fetus

  1. the youngest or smallest of a family or group

    • a newborn or recently born animal

    • (as modifier): baby rabbits

  2. usually derogatory an immature person

  3. slang a young woman or sweetheart: often used as a term of address expressing affection

  4. a project of personal concern

  5. be left holding the baby to be left with the responsibility

  6. throw the baby out with the bath water to lose the essential element by indiscriminate rejection

  1. (prenominal) comparatively small of its type: a baby car

verb-bies, -bying or -bied (tr)
  1. to treat with love and attention

  2. to treat (someone) like a baby; pamper or overprotect

Origin of baby

C14: probably childish reduplication; compare mama, papa 1

Derived forms of baby

  • babyhood, noun
  • babyish, adjective

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with baby


see throw out the baby with the bath water.

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