Definitions

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

  • n. A small low bed for an infant, often furnished with rockers.
  • n. The earliest period of life: had an interest in music almost from the cradle.
  • n. A place of origin; a birthplace: the cradle of civilization.
  • n. A framework of wood or metal used to support something, such as a ship undergoing construction or repair.
  • n. A framework used to protect an injured limb.
  • n. A low flat framework that rolls on casters, used by a mechanic working beneath an automobile. Also called creeper.
  • n. The part of a telephone that contains the connecting switch upon which the receiver and mouthpiece unit is supported.
  • n. A frame projecting above a scythe, used to catch grain as it is cut so that it can be laid flat.
  • n. A scythe equipped with such a frame.
  • n. A boxlike device furnished with rockers, used for washing gold-bearing dirt.
  • transitive v. To place or retain in or as if in a cradle.
  • transitive v. To care for or nurture in infancy.
  • transitive v. To hold or support protectively: cradled the cat in his arms.
  • transitive v. To reap (grain) with a cradle.
  • transitive v. To place or support (a ship, for example) in a cradle.
  • transitive v. To wash (gold-bearing dirt) in a cradle.
  • intransitive v. Obsolete To lie in or as if in a cradle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A bed or cot for a baby, oscillating on rockers or swinging on pivots.
  • n. The place of origin, or in which anything is nurtured or protected in the earlier period of existence.
  • n. Infancy, or very early life.
  • n. An implement consisting of a broad scythe for cutting grain, with a set of long fingers parallel to the scythe, designed to receive the grain, and to lay it evenly in a swath.
  • n. A tool used in mezzotint engraving, which, by a rocking motion, raises burrs on the surface of the plate, so preparing the ground.
  • n. A framework of timbers, or iron bars, moving upon ways or rollers, used to support, lift, or carry ships or other vessels, heavy guns, etc., as up an inclined plane, or across a strip of land, or in launching a ship.
  • n. A case for a broken or dislocated limb.
  • n. A frame to keep the bedclothes from contact with the sensitive parts of an injured person.
  • n. A machine on rockers, used in washing out auriferous earth.
  • n. A suspended scaffold used in shafts.
  • n. A ribbing for vaulted ceilings and arches intended to be covered with plaster.
  • n. A basket or apparatus in which, when a line has been made fast to a wrecked ship from the shore, the people are brought off from the wreck.
  • n. A rest for the receiver of a telephone.
  • n. A hand position allowing a contact ball to be held steadily on the back of the hand.
  • v. To contain in or as if in a cradle.
  • v. To rock (a baby to sleep).
  • v. To wrap protectively.
  • v. To rock the lacrosse stick back and forth in order to keep the ball in the head by means of centrifugal force.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A bed or cot for a baby, oscillating on rockers or swinging on pivots; hence, the place of origin, or in which anything is nurtured or protected in the earlier period of existence.
  • n. Infancy, or very early life.
  • n. An implement consisting of a broad scythe for cutting grain, with a set of long fingers parallel to the scythe, designed to receive the grain, and to lay it evenly in a swath.
  • n. A tool used in mezzotint engraving, which, by a rocking motion, raises burrs on the surface of the plate, so preparing the ground.
  • n. A framework of timbers, or iron bars, moving upon ways or rollers, used to support, lift, or carry ships or other vessels, heavy guns, etc., as up an inclined plane, or across a strip of land, or in launching a ship.
  • n.
  • n. A case for a broken or dislocated limb.
  • n. A frame to keep the bedclothes from contact with the person.
  • n.
  • n. A machine on rockers, used in washing out auriferous earth; -- also called a rocker.
  • n. A suspended scaffold used in shafts.
  • n. The ribbing for vaulted ceilings and arches intended to be covered with plaster.
  • n. The basket or apparatus in which, when a line has been made fast to a wrecked ship from the shore, the people are brought off from the wreck.
  • intransitive v. To lie or lodge, as in a cradle.
  • transitive v. To lay to rest, or rock, as in a cradle; to lull or quiet, as by rocking.
  • transitive v. To nurse or train in infancy.
  • transitive v. To cut and lay with a cradle, as grain.
  • transitive v. To transport a vessel by means of a cradle.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To place or rock in a cradle; quiet by or as if by rocking.
  • To nurse in infancy.
  • To cut with a cradle, as grain.
  • To wash in a miners' cradle, as auriferous gravel.
  • To lie in or as if in a cradle.
  • To reinforce on the back with crossed strips in order to prevent warping: as, to cradle a picture.
  • To support on or in a cradle: as, to cradle a ship while it is being raised to a higher level.
  • To cut (a cask) in two longitudinally.
  • n. A little bed or cot for an infant, usually mounted on rockers, or balanced or suspended in such a manner as to admit of a rocking or swinging motion.
  • n. Hence The place where any person or thing is nurtured in the earlier stage of existence: as, Asia, the cradle of the human race; the cradle of liberty, etc.
  • n. A standing bedstead for wounded seamen.
  • n. A name of various mechanical contrivances.
  • n. An old game played by children: same as cat's-cradle.
  • n.

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

  • n. a baby bed with sides and rockers
  • n. a trough that can be rocked back and forth; used by gold miners to shake auriferous earth in water in order to separate the gold
  • v. cut grain with a cradle scythe
  • n. where something originated or was nurtured in its early existence
  • n. birth of a person
  • v. wash in a cradle
  • v. hold or place in or as if in a cradle
  • v. run with the stick
  • v. hold gently and carefully
  • v. bring up from infancy

Etymologies

Middle English cradel, from Old English.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English cradol. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Earlier this year, his materials firm, MBDC, told GreenBlue it would have to license the term cradle to cradle if the nonprofit wanted to use it.

    Techdirt

  • Indeed, some have argued that the [GreenBlue's Sustainable Packaging Coalition] is succeeding despite McDonough: Earlier this year, his materials firm, MBDC, told GreenBlue it would have to license the term cradle to cradle if the nonprofit wanted to use it.

    Grist - the Latest from Grist

  • We're at a point in our history, with 6.4 billion of us, that we have to imagine what it would be like to redesign design itself, see design as the first signal of human intention, and realize that we need new intentions for our future where materials are seen as things that are highly valuable and need to go in closed cycles — what we call cradle to cradle, instead of cradle to grave.

    The Man of the Hour

  • And so, as long as the cradle is there to be minded, we shall have proved that out of two differences unions can spring.

    Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard

  • And in this cradle is a nice, fat, bright-eyed little baby.

    Little Miss Peggy: Only a Nursery Story

  • An often overlooked facet of the Battle of the Alamo was the inclusive nature of those who volunteered to defend what we know as the cradle of Texas liberty.

    Capitol Annex

  • Lake Turkana, thanks to its extensive fossil record of early humans, is often described as the cradle of mankind; our closest literal equivalent to the Garden of Eden.

    Journey to the Jade Sea

  • The cradle is equipped with a warmer and an alarm that goes off when a baby is deposited.

    Japan Approves First ‘Baby Hatch’ | Impact Lab

  • Beyond the doll, a book and a trio of wooden figures (princess, baby in cradle and a motherly market woman) are her only birthday gifts this year.

    A Small Gift for a Small Girl

  • He said he hopes to live to be 100 because he wants to "get American soldiers out of the Iraqi hellhole Bush-Cheney and their neo-conservative theorists have created in what was one called the cradle of civilization."

    Al Eisele: George McGovern's Last Hurrah

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