swaddling clothes


plural noun

clothes consisting of long, narrow strips of cloth for swaddling an infant.
long garments for an infant.
the period of infancy or immaturity, as of a person, or incipience, as of a thing: Nuclear energy is still in its swaddling clothes.
rigid supervision or restriction of actions or movements, as of the immature: new nations that are freeing themselves of their swaddling clothes.

Origin of swaddling clothes

First recorded in 1525–35
Also called swaddling bands (for defs 1, 2).
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for swaddling-bands

Historical Examples of swaddling-bands

  • I myself was thought beautiful by the women at one time—when I was in my swaddling-bands.


    George Eliot

  • Since the time was ripe, Wahaska did presently burst its swaddling-bands.

    The Price

    Francis Lynde

  • He rises girt in the swaddling-bands of the tomb, once more to walk in the light of the living.

    Memories of Bethany

    John Ross Macduff

  • The art of advertising being then in its swaddling-bands, this specimen of it struck its hearers as really creditable.

    Gideon's Band

    George W. Cable

  • Lay aside the swaddling-bands of your imperfections, conform your lives to the highest ideals of uprightness and truth.

British Dictionary definitions for swaddling-bands

swaddling clothes

pl n

long strips of linen or other cloth formerly wrapped round a newly born baby
restrictions or supervision imposed on the immature
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