born

[ bawrn ]
/ bɔrn /

adjective

brought forth by birth.
possessing from birth the quality, circumstances, or character stated: a born musician; a born fool.
native to the locale stated; immigrated to the present place from the locale stated: a German-born scientist; a Chicago-born New Yorker.

verb

a past participle of bear1.

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Idioms for born

    born yesterday, naive; inexperienced: You can't fool me with that old trick—I wasn't born yesterday.

Origin of born

First recorded before 1000; Middle English; Old English boren (past participle of beran “to give birth”), equivalent to bor- past participle stem + -en past participle suffix; see bear1, -en3

words often confused with born

Since the latter part of the 18th century, a distinction has been made between born and borne as past participles of the verb bear1 . Borne is the past participle in all senses that do not refer to physical birth: The wheatfields have borne abundantly this year. Judges have always borne a burden of responsibility. Borne is also the participle when the sense is “to bring forth (young)” and the focus is on the mother rather than on the child. In such cases, borne is preceded by a form of have or followed by by: Anna had borne a son the previous year. Two children borne by her earlier were already grown. When the focus is on the offspring or on something brought forth as if by birth, born is the standard spelling, and it occurs only in passive constructions: My friend was born in Ohio. No children have been born at the South Pole. A strange desire was born of the tragic experience. Born is also an adjective meaning “by birth,” “innate,” or “native”: born free; a born troublemaker; Mexican-born.

OTHER WORDS FROM born

pre·born, adjectiveself-born, adjective

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH born

born , borne (see confusables note at current entry)

Definition for born (2 of 2)

Born
[ bawrn ]
/ bɔrn /

noun

Max, 1882–1970, German physicist: Nobel Prize 1954.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for born

British Dictionary definitions for born (1 of 2)

born
/ (bɔːn) /

verb

the past participle (in most passive uses) of bear 1 (def. 4)
was not born yesterday is not gullible or foolish

adjective

possessing or appearing to have possessed certain qualities from birtha born musician
  1. being at birth in a particular social status or other condition as specifiedignobly born
  2. (in combination)lowborn
in all one's born days informal so far in one's life

usage for born

Care should be taken not to use born where borne is intended: he had borne (not born) his ordeal with great courage; the following points should be borne in mind

British Dictionary definitions for born (2 of 2)

Born
/ (bɔːn) /

noun

Max . 1882–1970, British nuclear physicist, born in Germany, noted for his fundamental contribution to quantum mechanics: Nobel prize for physics 1954
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

Idioms and Phrases with born

born

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