• synonyms


[suhk-uh l]
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verb (used with object), suck·led, suck·ling.
  1. to nurse at the breast or udder.
  2. to nourish or bring up.
  3. to put to suck.
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verb (used without object), suck·led, suck·ling.
  1. to suck at the breast or udder.
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Origin of suckle

1375–1425; late Middle English sucklen; see suck, -le
Related formsun·suck·led, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for suckle


  1. to give (a baby or young animal) milk from the breast or (of a baby, etc) to suck milk from the breast
  2. (tr) to bring up; nurture
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Derived Formssuckler, noun

Word Origin

C15: probably back formation from suckling
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 suckle


c.1400, perhaps a causative form of Middle English suken "to suck" (see suck), or a back-formation from suckling (though this word is attested only from mid-15c.). Related: Suckled; suckling.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper