Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A person between birth and puberty.
  • n. A person who has not attained maturity or the age of legal majority.
  • n. An unborn infant; a fetus.
  • n. An infant; a baby.
  • n. One who is childish or immature.
  • n. A son or daughter; an offspring.
  • n. A member of a tribe; descendant: children of Abraham.
  • n. An individual regarded as strongly affected by another or by a specified time, place, or circumstance: a child of nature; a child of the Sixties.
  • n. A product or result of something specified: "Times Square is a child of the 20th century” ( Richard F. Shepard).
  • idiom with child Pregnant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A daughter or son; an offspring.
  • n. An offspring; one born in, or considered a product of the culture of, a place.
  • n. A member of a tribe, a people or a race of beings; one born into or considered a product of a people.
  • n. A thing or abstraction derived from or caused by something.
  • n. A person who is below the age of adulthood; a minor (person who is below the legal age of responsibility or accountability).
  • n. A data item, process or object which has a subservient or derivative role relative to another data item, process or object.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A son or a daughter; a male or female descendant, in the first degree; the immediate progeny of human parents; -- in law, legitimate offspring. Used also of animals and plants.
  • n. A descendant, however remote; -- used esp. in the plural.
  • n. One who, by character of practice, shows signs of relationship to, or of the influence of, another; one closely connected with a place, occupation, character, etc..
  • n. A noble youth. See Childe.
  • n. A young person of either sex. esp. one between infancy and youth; hence, one who exhibits the characteristics of a very young person, as innocence, obedience, trustfulness, limited understanding, etc.
  • n. A female infant.
  • intransitive v. To give birth; to produce young.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To produce children; brinig forth offspring.
  • To bring forth as a child.
  • n. A male or female descendant in the first degree; the immediate progeny of human parents; a son or daughter: used in direct reference to the parentage of the person spoken of, without regard to sex.
  • n. A descendant more remote than the first degree; a descendant, however remote: as, the children of Israel.
  • n. plural The inhabitants of a country: as, “the children of Seir,” 2 Chron. xxv. 11.
  • n. Specifically, a very young person; one not old enough to dispense with maternal aid and care. See childhood.
  • n. Figuratively, a childish man or woman; one who resembles a child in lack of knowledge, experience, or judgment.
  • n. In general, anything regarded as the offspring or product of something which is specified; product; result: as, disease is the child of intemperance; children of darkness.
  • n. A girl.
  • n. In old and poetical usage, a noble youth; a youth, especially one of high birth, before he was advanced to the honor of knighthood; a squire: also applied to a knight.
  • n. A person in general.
  • n. More especially, an illegitimate child; one who is actually the child but not the lawful issue of the suggested parent.
  • n. Synonyms plural Offspring, issue, progeny.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a human offspring (son or daughter) of any age
  • n. a young person of either sex
  • n. an immature childish person
  • n. a member of a clan or tribe

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English cild.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old English ċild ("child, infant, youth of gentle birth"), from Proto-Germanic *kildiz (“child in the womb, fruit of the womb, child”), from Proto-Indo-European *g(')elt- (“womb”). Cognate with Danish kuld ("brood, litter"), Swedish kull ("brood, litter"), Icelandic kelta, kjalta ("lap"), Gothic 𐌺𐌹𐌻𐌸𐌴𐌹 (kilþei, "womb"), Sanskrit जर्त (jarta), जर्तु (jártu, "vulva"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • He meant to set the child right; he meant to see _only_ the _child_ in her until White returned; he would ignore the perilously sweet woman-appeal to his senses until such time as he could, with safety, let them once more hold part in their relations with each other.

    The Man Thou Gavest

  • I was no longer “a child of the devil”, “a maiden accursed”; but it was “my love, my soul, light of my eyes, my child”.

    The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan

  • _Surely, I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child_.

    Daily Strength for Daily Needs

  • QUOTATION: When I was a child, I spake as a child….

    Quotations

  • Any child who needed a mother so much, was _her own child_.

    The Brimming Cup

  • The comprehension of much language can be given to the little deaf child by constantly talking just as any mother does to her hearing baby, only being always careful to take a position facing the main source of light, which should come _from behind the child_.

    What the Mother of a Deaf Child Ought to Know

  • My child you never would believe to be _my child_, from the evidence of his immense cheeks and chins -- for pray don't suppose that he has only one chin.

    The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1 of 2)

  • And there was Polly, the child, seated in the room, and looking about nine or ten years old: and I was distinctly conscious of the fact, yet without any feeling of surprise at its incongruity, that I was going to take the _child_ Polly with me to the theatre, to see the _grown-up_ Polly act!

    The Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll (Rev. C. L. Dodgson)

  • "_God of love, guard Thy child; God of power, save Thy child_," I prayed.

    Possessed

  • And in Delia's there will reverberate till death that wail of a fierce and childless woman -- that last cry of nature in one who had defied nature -- of womanhood in one who had renounced the ways of womanhood: "_the child -- the child_!"

    Delia Blanchflower

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Comments

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  • 'Isn't it ironic that Rush Limbaugh called Barack Obama "the little black man-child"? You could describe Rush the same way, if you leave out the words "little," "black," and "man."'
    Newsweek, "The Dignity Index: Win Nine Golds, Kid, and Then We'll Talk," September 1, 2008

    August 28, 2008