Definition of child in English:


See synonyms for child

Translate child into Spanish

nounplural noun children/ˈCHildr(ə)n/ /ˈtʃɪldr(ə)n/

  • 1A young human being below the age of puberty or below the legal age of majority.

    ‘she'd been playing tennis since she was a child’
    • ‘the film is not suitable for children’
    • ‘The ultrasound probe is used mainly for head scanning of newborn babies and young children.’
    • ‘Malnourishment prevents a child from reaching full mental and physical development.’
    • ‘Is it inevitable when a baby or a young child gets these autoantibodies that they go on to develop diabetes?’
    • ‘I have issues with the shininess of cover designs for children and young adults this year.’
    • ‘Twenty-one young children from the local schools marched in step, each child carrying a rose.’
    • ‘They bullied younger children, they teased girls, they fought boys weaker than themselves.’
    • ‘A young child needs to develop a sense that he or she is a good and valued human being on this earth.’
    • ‘Briefly, it showed a row of young children sitting on a school stage.’
    • ‘The six sessions include giving tips and ideas for playing with young children and toddlers.’
    • ‘She says she does not know of any European countries where children started school as young as they do in Britain.’
    • ‘He felt strongly about inequality of any kind and mentored young children excluded from school.’
    • ‘It was the smaller children and young girls who could not be expected to speak out.’
    • ‘Sometimes when I look back on my life as a child or young adolescent, it is through the eyes of a bemused observer.’
    • ‘On one occasion, we visited an orphanage and the youngest child, a 3 year old, fell asleep on my lap.’
    • ‘It usually affects children, teenagers and young adults and requires daily injections of insulin.’
    • ‘While at play, toddlers and young children are usually in the care of older siblings.’
    • ‘Our member companies are committed to the health and wellbeing of infants and young children.’
    • ‘As a young child, Jane was often responsible for her own physical care and the care of her mother.’
    • ‘Would you like to have your say on issues that effect children and young people?’
    • ‘Unions say that children as young as three have physically attacked teachers as well as other pupils.’
    youngster, young one, little one, boy, girl
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    1. 1.1A son or daughter of any age.
      ‘when children leave home, parents can feel somewhat redundant’
      • ‘The couple had three children, a daughter and two sons who work in the business.’
      • ‘She said that if she had children she would want daughters like Holly.’
      • ‘I have chosen to stay at home to bring up my daughter and any other children that I may choose to have.’
      • ‘His second child, a daughter, was born when he was still studying in Bangkok.’
      • ‘Just over a year ago she gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Deva.’
      • ‘He says that Caroline is not fit to bring up children and that his daughters are not staying in that immoral environment.’
      • ‘He and his wife have two children, a daughter who is approximately four years of age and a son who is about one.’
      • ‘It was here they raised their family of six children, five sons and a daughter.’
      • ‘There they raised their own family of seven children, four sons and three daughters.’
      • ‘This is what it takes to be a good child; a good son; a good daughter; a good citizen.’
      • ‘The daughter now has a child of her own and is trying to complete high school.’
      • ‘Outside in the yard was a father a mother and their two children, a son and a daughter.’
      • ‘All parents want their children to be happy and most want their children to be successful.’
      • ‘She revelled in the academic and sporting successes of her children and grandchildren.’
      • ‘He had two children, but his son Michael died in a car accident 20 years ago.’
      • ‘I would be single and successful with no children, while still hanging on to some sort of cool bohemian style.’
      • ‘Here was a father who lost not one but two children in quick succession, in the prime of their lives.’
      • ‘My four children and three step-children could have ended up without a father.’
      • ‘The couple had one child, their daughter Sonya, who went to Lady Eleanor Holles School in Hampton.’
      • ‘As far as the newspaper was concerned, his father had only one child, a daughter.’
      descendant, offshoot
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    2. 1.2An immature or irresponsible person.
      • ‘she's such a child!’
      unworldly person, naive person
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    3. 1.3A person who has little or no experience in a particular area.
      • ‘he's a child in financial matters’
    4. 1.4children archaic The descendants of a family or people.
      • ‘the children of Abraham’
      descendants, heirs, successors, offspring, children, family, progeny, scions
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    5. 1.5child ofA person or thing influenced by a specified environment.
      ‘a child of the Sixties’
      • ‘OPEC was in a sense a child of the Cold War’
      • ‘I mean, it is an iD shareware product, the child of a small independent studio.’
      • ‘And which child of the Generation Next is interested in collecting greeting cards?’
      • ‘What is the destiny that is to be fulfilled, and who is the one true child of it?’
      • ‘Online dating has become the darling child of our media empire this decade.’
      • ‘They deeply fear a strange child of Feng Shui style energy lines.’



/CHīld/ /tʃaɪld/


    child's play
    • A task which is easily accomplished.

      ‘tapping telephones is child's play’
      • ‘The task would have been child's play to even the very worst of pickpockets.’
      • ‘It is child's play to access your bank account and track your movements through your mobile or by the cash withdrawals that you make.’
      • ‘Without much help from parents or teachers, an easy point and browse mechanism would be child's play.’
      • ‘His piano concertos - all five of them - are among the most eminently enjoyable works in that genre and no child's play at all.’
      • ‘She makes bringing up baby sound like child's play.’
      • ‘Dealing with this should be child's play for a party with a will to win.’
      • ‘Memorising the dates and events in your history books and the complex equations in chemistry would just be child's play.’
      • ‘People think that it's just child's play but it's very demanding.’
      • ‘She is now taking an advanced diploma, which is anything but child's play.’
      • ‘Obviously, profiting from such an intrusion requires skill; though as we've illustrated, getting inside the network is child's play.’
    from a child
    • Since childhood.

      ‘from a child she had taken ballet lessons’
      • ‘The Nick I've known from a child up until his adult age would never put his life ahead of the love for his family.’
      • ‘He's also Sullivan's surrogate father, having raised him from a child to become one of his most loyal employees.’
      • ‘As the son of a minister who had been taught the Scriptures and the ways of God from a child, I had enough head knowledge to talk and fit into Christian situations.’
    with child
    • Pregnant.

      ‘Not being with child, I cannot attest to the truthfulness of the latter claim - and there is only so much I'll do in the name of research.’
      • ‘Yesterday, I drove out to St. Thomas to do a little private practice for one of my colleagues who is with child.’
      • ‘While I walk, I muse on art and life. Back home, I make breakfast for Rose, who is with child.’
      • ‘Slowly, her body returns to the form it was before she was with child.’
      • ‘The duke had no heirs, only a wife who was about five months with child.’


Old English cild, of Germanic origin. The Middle English plural childer or childre became childeren or children by association with plurals ending in -en, such as brethren.