noun, plural ba·bies.


verb (used with object), ba·bied, ba·by·ing.

to treat like a young child; pamper.
to handle or use with special care; treat gently.

Origin of baby

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at babe, -y2
Related formsba·by·hood, nounba·by·ish, adjectiveba·by·ish·ly, adverbba·by·ish·ness, nounba·by·like, adjective

Synonyms for baby




WarrenBaby, 1898–1959, U.S. jazz drummer. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for baby

Contemporary Examples of baby

Historical Examples of baby

  • When he "played" with Baby Akemit thereafter, the pretence was not all with the child.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Dear baby, it promised its mother it wouldn't drink wine for two months.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • If she was incompetent I wasn't bound to keep her just because she'd had a baby.

  • If Maggie had made bad arrangements for her baby, Maggie was responsible.

  • I came to see, ma'am, whether you'd take me back, as I 'aven't got Baby now.

British Dictionary definitions for baby


noun plural -bies

  1. a newborn or recently born child; infant
  2. (as modifier)baby food
an unborn child; fetus
the youngest or smallest of a family or group
  1. a newborn or recently born animal
  2. (as modifier)baby rabbits
usually derogatory an immature person
slang a young woman or sweetheart: often used as a term of address expressing affection
a project of personal concern
be left holding the baby to be left with the responsibility
throw the baby out with the bath water to lose the essential element by indiscriminate rejection


(prenominal) comparatively small of its typea baby car

verb -bies, -bying or -bied (tr)

to treat with love and attention
to treat (someone) like a baby; pamper or overprotect
Derived Formsbabyhood, nounbabyish, adjective

Word Origin for baby

C14: probably childish reduplication; compare mama, papa 1
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 baby

late 14c., babi, diminutive of baban (see babe + -y (3)). Meaning "childish adult person" is from c.1600. Meaning "youngest of a group" is from 1897. As a term of endearment for one's lover it is attested perhaps as early as 1839, certainly by 1901; its popularity perhaps boosted by baby vamp "a popular girl," student slang from c.1922. As an adjective, by 1750.

Baby food is from 1833. Baby blues for "blue eyes" recorded by 1892 (the phrase also was used for "postpartum depression" 1950s-60s). To empty the baby out with the bath (water) is first recorded 1909 in G.B. Shaw (cf. German das Kind mit dem Bade ausschütten). Baby's breath (noted for sweet smell, which also was supposed to attract cats) as a type of flower is from 1897. French bébé (19c.) is from English.


"to treat like a baby," 1742, from baby (n.). Related: Babied; babying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for baby




A very young child; an infant.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

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.