Definition of suckle in English:


Pronunciation /ˈsək(ə)l/

See synonyms for suckle

Translate suckle into Spanish

transitive verb

[with object]
  • 1Feed (a baby or young animal) from the breast or teat.

    ‘a mother pig suckling a huge litter’
    • ‘Two Madonna-and-childs, reversed out in a stark negative: the bounteous white woman, bereft of her own baby, suckling the child of a dying African.’
    • ‘Informal wet-nursing ranges from the occasional nursing of another woman's child to a private arrangement to suckle a baby whose mother is ailing or who has died.’
    • ‘But virtually all begging street urchins, maimed men, mothers suckling infants and other ragged destitutes are Tibetan, not Chinese.’
    • ‘On his way down, he paused at each lit window, watching a boy shooting computer monsters, a bulky man cutting a slice of pie, and a mother suckling her child.’
    • ‘In doing so, the artist chose to make explicit the sensual undertones which cannot be separated from any image of a beautiful young woman suckling her child.’
    • ‘While the spring calving cow that is still suckling the calf on declining grass is the most susceptible, autumn calving cows also need protection in the form of a magnesium supplement.’
    • ‘But suckling a pig in imitation of the Virgin Mary, as she did for one album's inside sleeve, is eccentric in anyone's book.’
    • ‘She is, after all, the woman who was once photographed for an album cover suckling a pig.’
    • ‘Hunting is also seasonal and does not take place when a vixen is suckling her cubs.’
    • ‘There are ewers like eagles and cockerels, incense-burners like lynxes and a water-pourer in the form of an unfortunate humped cow (properly a zebu) which suckles its calf while a lion bites its hump.’
    • ‘This is normally repeated when she is suckling her puppies so any re-infestation is prevented.’
    • ‘After undergoing a pseudopregnancy, my neighbors' Jack Russell terrier chased away the family's cat and adopted and suckled her kittens.’
    • ‘Milk production of the breed is, however, still more than sufficient to suckle the calf, and several farmers still milk their cows and process milk into typical cheeses.’
    • ‘They suckle their calves for eighteen months, carry them on their backs when they are tired and gently guide them along with their flippers.’
    • ‘Any child suckled by this fairy would grow to be huge and strong, say the Bulgarians and say the Irish, said our informant.’
    • ‘The unusual sculpture, made entirely from smashed up bathroom furniture, was of a pig suckling two children.’
    • ‘Then one watches the gentle firmness with which a herdsman will get a reluctant goat to suckle a kid and realizes how precious these animals are to the Rabari.’
    • ‘Above, looking down from the top stories of the houses, you could see the outlines of large veiled women with kohl-darkened eyes staring down over latticed balustrades, disappearing occasionally to slap a toddler or suckle an infant.’
    • ‘Crying, she suckled the baby and announced her name.’
    breastfeed, feed, nurse
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1no object (of a baby or young animal) feed by sucking the breast or teat.
      ‘the infant's biological need to suckle’
      • ‘‘It's impossible to forgive,’ she said, her infant baby suckling at her breast.’
      • ‘Images of Charity personified often show a child suckling at each of her breasts.’
      • ‘The strong influence of Italian neo-realism is further subverted by such outlandish sights as a boy suckling at a cow's udder and Pedro hurling an egg directly at the camera.’
      • ‘It is best that calves suckle from all 4 teats, but make sure at least 2 teats are suckled.’
      • ‘The young girl was suckling at her mother's bosom and crying simultaneously, which should be considered a great feat since most infants choose one action over another.’
      • ‘The valley is quiet and serene, and right now is bursting with the energy and exuberance of spring - the trees are budding, the daffodils bobbing, the birds are busy, the lambs are bleating and there are calves suckling.’
      • ‘If a foal has not suckled after 11 hours there is every chance it will die as the gut wall closes up and the vital antibodies cannot get through.’
      • ‘The calf will suckle for up to 13 months and may remain with the mother for another 2-3 months after weaning.’
      • ‘A few pages later, she's suckling at the teat of her lactating cat.’
      • ‘A call to the vet advised me that as long as the foal was suckling and the mare was calm, everything was ok, but to keep an eye on them both for the first few hours.’
      • ‘However, this and other previous research indicates calves are still suckling.’
      • ‘In addition, suckling at the breast requires a very different use of the tongue and lips when compared to bottle-feeding.’
      • ‘She forced his attention on Marco, their son suckling at her breast.’
      • ‘Still, I saw a family of deer, a blue jay, a New Forest pony suckling, and a buzzard wheeling so low I could count the individual pinions extended at its wingtips.’
      • ‘He says the granite water fountain troughs reminded him of his Uncle Vincent's piglets suckling at a sow.’
      • ‘This process of making different kinds of milk at different times may be initiated by changes in the way the infant suckles.’
      • ‘The infant suckled greedily and Dara's eyes misted in happiness.’
      • ‘When a baby suckles, this sends nerve impulses from the breast to the brain.’
      • ‘The production of milk comes from suckling on the nipple, and a baby may not suckle frequently enough if it is in a routine.’
      • ‘At one point, they tie the mother camel's legs together so the baby can suckle, but once free she wanders away, her unhappy calf following at a distance behind her.’


Late Middle English probably a back-formation from suckling.