I. ba ‧ by 1 S1 W1 /ˈbeɪbi/ BrE AmE noun ( plural babies ) [countable]
[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Origin: babe ]
1 . YOUNG CHILD a very young child who has not yet learned to speak or walk:
The baby is crying.
She gave birth to a baby on Thursday.
What do you think of your new baby sister?
⇨ ↑ test-tube baby
2 . YOUNG ANIMAL a very young animal:
3 . VEGETABLE a type of vegetable which is grown to be much smaller than usual or is eaten before it has grown to its normal size:
4 . YOUNGEST a younger child in a family, often the youngest:
Clare is the baby of the family.
5 . WOMAN spoken
a) used to address someone that you love:
Relax, baby – we’re on holiday.
b) not polite used to address a young woman that you do not know
6 . SILLY PERSON someone, especially an older child, who is not behaving in a brave way:
Don’t be a baby!
7 . RESPONSIBILITY something special that someone has developed or is responsible for:
Don’t ask me about the building contract – that’s Robert’s baby.
8 . THING informal something, especially a piece of equipment or a machine, that you care about a lot:
This baby can reach speeds of 130 miles per hour.
⇨ throw the baby out with the bathwater at ↑ throw 1 (37)
• • •
▪ a baby is born
Let me know as soon as the baby is born.
▪ have a baby/give birth to a baby
She had the baby at home.
Sue gave birth to a baby boy.
▪ be expecting a baby (=be pregnant)
My wife’s expecting a baby.
▪ a baby is due (=is expected to be born)
When is your baby due?
▪ lose a baby (=have a baby that dies when it is born too soon)
She was three months pregnant when she lost the baby.
▪ deliver a baby (=help a woman to give birth to a baby)
Usually your baby will be delivered by a midwife.
▪ abandon a baby (=leave your baby somewhere because you do not want it)
A disturbing number of babies are abandoned by their mothers.
▪ feed a baby
If your baby cries, she may want feeding.
▪ breast-feed a baby
63% of new mothers breast-feed their babies.
▪ change a baby (=change its nappy)
Could you change the baby for me?
▪ a newborn baby
There’s plenty of help and advice for people with newborn babies.
▪ an unborn baby (=not yet born)
Drinking alcohol is bad for your unborn baby.
▪ a premature baby (=born before the normal time)
Lesley’s baby was three weeks premature.
▪ an abandoned baby (=left somewhere by a mother who does not want it)
The abandoned baby was found under a hedge.
▪ an illegitimate baby (=born to an unmarried mother)
The number of illegitimate babies is rising.
▪ an unwanted baby
Unwanted babies were frequently abandoned in the streets.
▪ a contented baby
Danielle was a lovely contented baby.
■ baby + NOUN
▪ a baby boy/girl
She’s just had a lovely healthy baby girl.
▪ a baby son/daughter/brother/sister
We’d like a baby brother or sister for Ben.
▪ baby clothes/food
■ COMMON ERRORS
► Do not say 'she is waiting a baby' . Say she is expecting a baby .
• • •
▪ baby a very young child who has not yet learned to speak or walk:
I sat next to a woman holding a baby.
▪ toddler a baby who has learned how to walk:
The playground has a special area for toddlers.
▪ infant formal a baby or a very young child:
The disease is mainly found in infants.
▪ little one spoken informal a baby, or a small child up to the age of about three:
How old is your little one?
▪ young the babies of an animal or bird:
Kangaroos carry their young in a pouch.
▪ litter a group of baby animals that are born at the same time to the same mother:
Our cat has just had a litter of six kittens.
II. baby 2 BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle babied , present participle babying , third person singular babies ) [transitive]
to be too kind to someone and look after them as if they were a baby