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godchild

[ god-chahyld ]
/ ˈgɒdˌtʃaɪld /
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noun, plural god·chil·dren.

a child for whom a godparent serves as sponsor at baptism.
a child for whom a godparent serves as sponsor.

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Origin of godchild

Middle English word dating back to 1175–1225; see origin at god, child
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

VOCAB BUILDER

What does godchild mean?

A godchild is a person who has one or more godparents—people who have pledged to help with their upbringing, especially in a religious way.

In some denominations of Christianity, when a child is baptized, they are sponsored by (usually two) adults who pledge to help in this way. Those adults are the child’s godparents, and the child is their godchild.

Godchildren are often related to their godparents (a boy might be his aunt’s godson, for example), but they don’t need to be.

Godparents also often pledge to become the godchild’s guardian if needed (in the event that the child’s parents die).

These terms are all sometimes applied outside of a religious context—parents may choose close relatives or friends to act as godparents for their children without any religious aspect to the relationship.

A godparent can still refer to their godchild with that term even after the child becomes an adult.

Example: Some people are godparents in name only, but Kelly and Chris spend as much time as they can with their godchild.

Where does godchild come from?

Godchild is an old word, with the first records of its use coming from around 1200. Even though the word God is usually capitalized in the context of Christianity, it’s spelled lowercase in some general terms, such as godliness.

In some Christian denominations, people officially become godparents to their godchild at the child’s baptism by making specific pledges to assist with their religious upbringing. Some parents, though, choose godparents for their child simply by asking them to have a special presence in their godchild’s life (and often to act as the child’s guardians if something should happen to them). This may or may not involve a religious aspect.

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What are some other forms related to godchild?

  • godchildren (plural)

What are some words that share a root or word element with godchild

 

What are some words that often get used in discussing godchild?

 

How is godchild used in real life?

The word godchild is especially associated with the relationship that’s made official during the Christian ceremony of baptism, but it’s also used in nonreligious contexts.

 

 

Try using godchild!

Is godchild used correctly in the following sentence?

I try to be a good godmother by always sending my godchild something for his birthday.

Example sentences from the Web for godchild

British Dictionary definitions for godchild

godchild
/ (ˈɡɒdˌtʃaɪld) /

noun plural -children (-ˌtʃɪldrən)

a person, usually an infant, who is sponsored by adults at baptism
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
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