n. & v.
n. (pl. -ies) 1 a very young child or infant, esp. one not yet able to walk. 2 an unduly childish person (is a baby about injections). 3 the youngest member of a family, team, etc. 4 (often attrib.) a a young or newly born animal. b a thing that is small of its kind (baby car; baby rose). 5 sl. a young woman; a sweetheart (often as a form of address). 6 sl. a person or thing regarded with affection or familiarity. 7 one's own responsibility, invention, concern, achievement, etc., regarded in a personal way.
v.tr. (-ies, -ied) 1 treat like a baby. 2 pamper. baby boom colloq. a temporary marked increase in the birthrate. baby boomer a person born during a baby boom, esp. after the war of 1939-45. baby-bouncer Brit. a frame supported by elastic or springs, into which a child is harnessed to exercise its limbs. Baby Buggy (pl. -ies) Brit. propr. a kind of child's collapsible pushchair. baby carriage US a pram. baby grand the smallest size of grand piano. baby-snatcher colloq. 1 a person who kidnaps babies. 2 = cradle-snatcher. baby-talk childish talk used by or to young children. baby-walker a wheeled frame in which a baby learns to walk. carry (or hold) the baby bear unwelcome responsibility. throw away the baby with the bath-water reject the essential with the inessential. babyhood n.
[ ME, formed as BABE, -Y(2) ]