Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To take care of a child or children in the absence of a parent or guardian.
  • intransitive verb To take care of or watch over someone or something needing attention or guidance.
  • intransitive verb To provide care for (a child) in the absence of a parent or guardian.
  • intransitive verb To watch over or tend.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To watch or tend someone else's child for a period of time, often for money.
  • verb To watch or attend anything or anyone unnecessarily closely; to have to help or coax too much.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Back-formation from babysitter.

Examples

Comments

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  • Apparently, one no longer babysits for a baby. Now, one babysits the baby--makes me wonder whether the sitter expects to hatch one. Terrible usage of the word.

    February 23, 2010