noun, plural chil·dren.
Origin of child
Definition for child (2 of 2)
Examples from the Web for child
Sands was involved in a scandalous-for-the-time romance with the carpenter and there were rumors she was pregnant with his child.New York’s Most Tragic Ghost Loves Minimalist Swedish Fashion|Nina Strochlic|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
In Sweden parents can use those days up until the child turns 12.
The Great Society is a place where every child can find knowledge to enrich his mind and to enlarge his talents.
It needs to be said: bigotry in the name of religion is still bigotry; child abuse wrapped in a Bible verse is still child abuse.Dear Leelah, We Will Fight On For You: A Letter to a Dead Trans Teen|Parker Molloy|January 1, 2015|DAILY BEAST
At least one child in CAR has been killed or gravely injured per day, and 10,000 have been recruited into militant groups.
That child was as truly an object of reverence to us as any patient sufferer of mature age.Household Education|Harriet Martineau
The mother's mood may be read at a glance: she is showing in one of a thousand tender ways her motherly affection for her child.The Madonna in Art|Estelle M. Hurll
The cancer of the cheek in the parent becomes cancer of the bone in the child.
Without looking up, or changing his tone, he asked the child if she had had a fall since the cast had been changed.An American Suffragette|Isaac N. Stevens
You have fifteen rum-shops to meet before you get back to your wife and child.A Singular Life|Elizabeth Stuart Phelps
British Dictionary definitions for child
noun plural children
- a boy or girl between birth and puberty
- (as modifier)child labour
Word Origin for child
Word Origin and History for child
Old English cild "fetus, infant, unborn or newly born person," from Proto-Germanic *kiltham (cf. Gothic kilþei "womb," inkilþo "pregnant;" Danish kuld "children of the same marriage;" Old Swedish kulder "litter;" Old English cildhama "womb," lit. "child-home"); no certain cognates outside Germanic. "App[arently] originally always used in relation to the mother as the 'fruit of the womb'" [Buck]. Also in late Old English, "a youth of gentle birth" (archaic, usually written childe). In 16c.-17c. especially "girl child."
The wider sense "young person before the onset of puberty" developed in late Old English. Phrase with child "pregnant" (late 12c.) retains the original sense. The sense extension from "infant" to "child" also is found in French enfant, Latin infans. Meaning "one's own child; offspring of parents" is from late 12c. (the Old English word was bearn; see bairn). Figurative use from late 14c. Most Indo-European languages use the same word for "a child" and "one's child," though there are exceptions (e.g. Latin liberi/pueri).
The difficulty with the plural began in Old English, where the nominative plural was at first cild, identical with the singular, then c.975 a plural form cildru (genitive cildra) arose, probably for clarity's sake, only to be re-pluraled late 12c. as children, which is thus a double plural. Middle English plural cildre survives in Lancashire dialect childer and in Childermas.
Child abuse is attested by 1963; child-molester from 1950. Child care is from 1915. Child's play, figurative of something easy, is in Chaucer (late 14c.).
Medicine definitions for child
Idioms and Phrases with child
In addition to the idiom beginning with child
, also see
- second childhood