verb (used with object), cra·dled, cra·dling.

verb (used without object), cra·dled, cra·dling.

to lie in or as if in a cradle.
to cut grain with a cradle scythe.


    rob the cradle, Informal. to marry, court, or date a person much younger than oneself.

Origin of cradle

before 1000; Middle English cradel, Old English cradol; akin to Old High German cratto basket
Related formscra·dler, nounun·cra·dled, adjective

Synonyms for cradle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cradle

Contemporary Examples of cradle

Historical Examples of cradle

British Dictionary definitions for cradle



a baby's bed with enclosed sides, often with a hood and rockers
a place where something originates or is nurtured during its early lifethe cradle of civilization
the earliest period of lifethey knew each other from the cradle
a frame, rest, or trolley made to support or transport a piece of equipment, aircraft, ship, etc
a platform, cage, or trolley, in which workmen are suspended on the side of a building or ship
the part of a telephone on which the handset rests when not in use
a holder connected to a computer allowing data to be transferred from a PDA, digital camera, etc
another name for creeper (def. 5)
  1. a framework of several wooden fingers attached to a scythe to gather the grain into bunches as it is cut
  2. a scythe equipped with such a cradle; cradle scythe
  3. a collar of wooden fingers that prevents a horse or cow from turning its head and biting itself
Also called: rocker a boxlike apparatus for washing rocks, sand, etc, containing gold or gem stones
engraving a tool that produces the pitted surface of a copper mezzotint plate before the design is engraved upon it
a framework used to prevent the bedclothes from touching a sensitive part of an injured person
from the cradle to the grave throughout life


(tr) to rock or place in or as if in a cradle; hold tenderly
(tr) to nurture in or bring up from infancy
(tr) to replace (the handset of a telephone) on the cradle
to reap (grain) with a cradle scythe
(tr) to wash (soil bearing gold, etc) in a cradle
lacrosse to keep (the ball) in the net of the stick, esp while running with it
Derived Formscradler, noun

Word Origin for cradle

Old English cradol; related to Old High German kratto basket
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 cradle

c.1200, cradel, from Old English cradol "little bed, cot," from Proto-Germanic *kradulas "basket" (cf. Old High German kratto, krezzo "basket," German Krätze "basket carried on the back"). Cat's cradle is from 1768. Cradle-snatching "amorous pursuit of younger person" is 1925, U.S. slang.


c.1500, from cradle (n.). Related: Cradled; cradling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for cradle




A small low bed for an infant, often furnished with rockers.
A frame used to keep the bedclothes from pressing on an injured part.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with cradle


see from the cradle to the grave; rob the cradle.

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