[ chahyld-lahyk ]
/ ˈtʃaɪldˌlaɪk /


like a child, as in innocence, frankness, etc.; befitting a child: childlike trust.

Origin of childlike

First recorded in 1580–90; child + -like
Related formschild·like·ness, nounun·child·like, adjective
Can be confusedchildish childlike (see synonym study at childish)

Synonym study Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for childlike

British Dictionary definitions for childlike


/ (ˈtʃaɪldˌlaɪk) /


like or befitting a child, as in being innocent, trustful, etcCompare childish (def. 2)
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 childlike



1580s, "proper to a child," from child + like. Meaning "like a child" in a good sense (distinguished from childish) is from 1738.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper