framework for supporting a coved or vaulted ceiling.

Nearby words

  1. cradle snatcher,
  2. cradle vault,
  3. cradle-to-grave,
  4. cradleboard,
  5. cradlesong,
  6. craft,
  7. craft apprenticeship,
  8. craft beer,
  9. craft union,
  10. craftily

Origin of cradling

First recorded in 1810–20; cradle + -ing1




a small bed for an infant, usually on rockers.
any of various supports for objects set horizontally, as the support for the handset of a telephone.
the place where anything is nurtured during its early existence: Boston was the cradle of the American Revolution.
  1. a frame of wood with a row of long curved teeth projecting above and parallel to a scythe, for laying grain in bunches as it is cut.
  2. a scythe together with the cradle in which it is set.
a wire or wicker basket used to hold a wine bottle in a more or less horizontal position while the wine is being served.
Artillery. the part of a gun carriage on which a recoiling gun slides.
a landing platform for ferryboats, rolling on inclined tracks to facilitate loading and unloading at different water levels.
Aeronautics. a docklike structure in which a rigid or semirigid airship is built or is supported during inflation.
Automotive. creeper(def 6).
  1. a shaped support for a boat, cast, etc.; chock.
  2. truss(def 9).
  1. a moving framework on which a hull slides down the ways when launched.
  2. a built-up form on which plates of irregular form are shaped.
Medicine/Medical. a frame that prevents the bedclothes from touching an injured part of a bedridden patient.
Mining. a box on rockers for washing sand or gravel to separate gold or other heavy metal.
an engraver's tool for laying mezzotint grounds.
Painting. a structure of wooden strips attached to the back of a panel, used as a support and to prevent warping.

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

to hold gently or protectively.
to place or rock in or as in an infant's cradle.
to nurture during infancy.
to receive or hold as a cradle.
to cut (grain) with a cradle.
to place (a vessel) on a cradle.
Mining. to wash (sand or gravel) in a cradle; rock.
Painting. to support (a panel) with a cradle.

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

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

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

Examples from the Web for cradling

British Dictionary definitions for cradling



architect a framework of iron or wood, esp as used in the construction of a ceiling



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 cradling
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for cradling




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 cradling


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.