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.


a past participle of bear1.

Nearby words

  1. borlotti bean,
  2. borm,
  3. borman,
  4. bormann,
  5. bormann, martin,
  6. born and bred,
  7. born under a lucky star,
  8. born with a silver spoon,
  9. born with a silver spoon in one's mouth,
  10. born yesterday


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

Origin of born

before 1000; Middle English; Old English boren (past participle of beran to bear1), equivalent to bor- past participle stem + -en -en3

Related formspre·born, adjectiveself-born, adjective

Can be confusedborn borne (see usage note at bear1)

Usage note

See bear1. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for born yesterday



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



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


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


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

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 born yesterday


Old English boren, alternative past participle of beran (see bear (v.)). Distinction between born and borne is 17c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with born yesterday

born yesterday

see not born yesterday.


In addition to the idioms beginning with born

  • born and bred
  • born under a lucky star
  • born with a silver spoon
  • born yesterday

also see:

  • in all one's born days
  • not born yesterday
  • to the manner born
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.