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swaddling clothes

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plural noun
  1. clothes consisting of long, narrow strips of cloth for swaddling an infant.
  2. long garments for an infant.
  3. the period of infancy or immaturity, as of a person, or incipience, as of a thing: Nuclear energy is still in its swaddling clothes.
  4. rigid supervision or restriction of actions or movements, as of the immature: new nations that are freeing themselves of their swaddling clothes.
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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. 2018

Examples from the Web for swaddling-bands

Historical Examples

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

    Romola

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