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.

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

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British Dictionary definitions for swaddling clothes

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
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