n. pl. ba·bies
a. A very young child; an infant.
b. An unborn child; a fetus.
c. The youngest member of a family or group.
d. A very young animal.
2. An adult or young person who behaves in an infantile way.
a. A lover or sweetheart.
b. Sweetheart; dear. Used as a term of endearment.
4. Slang An object of personal concern or interest: Keeping the boat in good repair is your baby.
adj. bab·i·er, bab·i·est
1. Of or having to do with a baby.
2. Infantile or childish.
3. Small in comparison with others of the same kind: baby vegetables.
tr.v. ba·bied, ba·by·ing, ba·bies
To pamper like a baby; coddle. See Synonyms at pamper.
[Middle English : babe, babe; see BABE + -y, diminutive suffix.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.