Definition of child noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//tʃaɪld//
    ; NAmE NAmE//tʃaɪld//
    (pl. children
    BrE BrE//ˈtʃɪldrən//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtʃɪldrən//
    jump to other results
  1. 1  a young human who is not yet an adult a child of three/a three-year-old child men, women and children an unborn child not suitable for young children I lived in London as a child. a child star CollocationsChildrenHaving a baby/​child want a baby/​a child/​kids start a family conceive/​be expecting/​be going to have a baby/​child miss your period become/​get/​be/​find out that you are pregnant have a baby/​a child/​kids/​a son/​a daughter/​twins/​a family have a normal/​a difficult/​an unwanted pregnancy; an easy/​a difficult/​a home birth be in/​go into/​induce labour (especially US English) labor have/​suffer/​cause a miscarriage give birth to a child/​baby/​daughter/​son/​twinsParenting bring up/ (especially North American English) raise a child/​family care for/ (especially British English) look after a baby/​child/​kid change (British English) a nappy/(North American English) a diaper/​a baby feed/​breastfeed/​bottle-feed a baby be entitled to/​go on maternity/​paternity leave go back/​return to work after maternity leave need/​find/​get a babysitter/​good quality affordable childcare balance/​combine work and childcare/​child-rearing/​family life educate/​teach/​home-school a child/​kid punish/​discipline/​spoil a child/​kid adopt a baby/​child/​kid offer a baby for/​put a baby up for adoption (especially British English) foster a child/​kid be placed with/​be raised by foster parents Wordfinderbaby, birth, child, dummy, feed, incubator, nappy, pram, premature, teethe Wordfinderadopt, child, family, generation, heir, in-laws, parent, relation, stepfamily, surrogate mother Wordfinderantenatal, child, conception, fetus, maternity leave, miscarriage, morning sickness, pregnant, scan, womb see also brainchild, latchkey child, poster child, schoolchild See related entries: Youth
  2. 2  a son or daughter of any age They have three grown-up children. a support group for adult children of alcoholics They can't have children. see also godchild, grandchild, love child, only child, stepchild compare kid
  3. 3a person who is strongly influenced by the ideas and attitudes of a particular time or person a child of the 90s
  4. 4(disapproving) an adult who behaves like a child and is not mature or responsible
  5. Word OriginOld 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.Extra examples After they divorced, he refused to pay child support. Children grow up so quickly! He had old-fashioned ideas on how to bring up children. He’s always been a problem child. How many children do you have? It was a bit lonely being an only child. My father died while I was still a small child. She couldn’t imagine the pain of losing a child at birth. She didn’t have her first child until she was nearly forty. She works in a centre for delinquent children. Teaching is particularly difficult when a class contains both slow and bright children. The children were quite unruly and ran around the house as if they owned it. Their first child was born with a rare heart condition. There are a lot of street children in the poorer parts of the city. They are expecting a child in June. We had trouble conceiving our first child. We have three teenage children. We’ve got three teenage children. What a precocious child—reading Jane Austen at the age of ten! You can’t spoil a child by giving it all the affection it wants. a child custody dispute between divorced parents a school for gifted children an organization that campaigns for the rights of the unborn child big with child good food for growing children tax concessions for families with dependent children the bastard child of romantic fiction and horror. the emotional connections which ensure healthy child development therapy for sexually abused children All the children learn to swim from an early age. She was a child star but never made it as an adult. The book is aimed at the parents of pre-school children. The film is not suitable for young children. a child of three/​a three-year-old child He took the children to Disneyland. I’m an only child. Will you put the children to bedIdioms (informal) to be very easy to do, so not even a child would find it difficult (old-fashioned) to be pregnant See related entries: Pregnancy
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: child