Meaning of BABY in English

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:

baby birds

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:

baby carrots

baby sweetcorn

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)

• • •


■ verbs

▪ 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?

■ adjectives

▪ 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


► 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

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.