AskDefine | Define child

Dictionary Definition



1 a young person of either sex; "she writes books for children"; "they're just kids"; "`tiddler' is a British term for youngsters" [syn: kid, youngster, minor, shaver, nipper, small fry, tiddler, tike, tyke, fry, nestling]
2 a human offspring (son or daughter) of any age; "they had three children"; "they were able to send their kids to college" [syn: kid] [ant: parent]
3 an immature childish person; "he remained a child in practical matters as long as he lived"; "stop being a baby!" [syn: baby]
4 a member of a clan or tribe; "the children of Israel" [also: children (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary



From ċild.


  • , /ʧaɪld/, /tSaIld/
  • Rhymes with: -aɪld


  1. A son or daughter.
    Her child is in 1st grade.
  2. An unborn or young person, a minor, especially one who has not yet entered into puberty.
    That child is up to no good.
  3. In the context of "computing": Some object which has a subservient or derivative role relative to another object.
    The child node then stores the actual data of the parent node.



An unborn or young person, a minor, especially one who has not yet entered into puberty
  • 1989: "The child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth." — United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.


Derived terms

one’s son or daughter
a minor
some object which has a subservient or derivative role relative to another object
  • Dutch: kind
  • Finnish: lapsiobjekti
  • Icelandic: barn
  • Japanese: (, ko)
  • Norwegian: barn
  • Russian: дочерний adj
  • Swedish: barn
Translations to be checked

Extensive Definition

A child is most often defined as a young human being between birth and puberty; a boy or girl. The legal definition of "child" generally refers to a minor, otherwise known as a person younger than the age of majority. "Child" may also describe a relationship with a parent or authority figure, or signify group membership in a clan, tribe, or religion; or it can signify being strongly affected by a specific time, place, or circumstance, as in "a child of nature" or "a child of the Sixties."

UN definition

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child defines a child as "every human being below the age of 18 years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier"..

Biological definition

Biologically, a child is anyone in the developmental stage of childhood, between infancy and adulthood.

Attitudes toward children

Social attitudes toward children differ around the world, and these attitudes have changed over time. One study has found that children in the United States are coddled and overprotected. A 1988 study on European attitudes toward the centrality of children found that Italy was more child-centric and Holland less child-centric, with other countries (Austria, Great Britain, Ireland, and West Germany) falling in between.

Age of responsibility

The age at which children are considered responsible for their own actions has also changed over time, and this is reflected in the way they are treated in courts of law. In Roman times, children were regarded as not culpable for crimes, a position later adopted by the Church. In the nineteenth century, children younger than seven years old were believed incapable of crime. Children from the age of seven were considered responsible for their actions. Hence, they could face criminal charges, be sent to adult prisons, and be punished like adults by whipping, branding or hanging.


External links

child in Arabic: طفل
child in Guarani: Mitã
child in Min Nan: Gín-á
child in Bulgarian: Дете
child in Catalan: Nen
child in Czech: Dítě
child in Zhuang: Lwgnyez
child in Danish: Barn
child in German: Kind
child in Estonian: Laps
child in Modern Greek (1453-): Παιδί
child in Spanish: Niño
child in Esperanto: Infano
child in Persian: کودک
child in French: Enfant
child in Irish: Leanbh
child in Galician: Infancia
child in Korean: 어린이
child in Croatian: Djeca
child in Indonesian: Anak
child in Icelandic: Barn
child in Italian: Bambino
child in Hebrew: ילדות
child in Kurdish: Zarok
child in Lithuanian: Vaikas
child in Hungarian: Gyerek
child in Maltese: Tifel
child in Dutch: Kind
child in Dutch Low Saxon: Kiend
child in Japanese: 子供
child in Norwegian: Barn
child in Narom: Éfaunt
child in Polish: Dziecko
child in Portuguese: Criança
child in Kölsch: Panz
child in Quechua: Wawa
child in Russian: Ребёнок
child in Sicilian: Picciriddu
child in Simple English: Child
child in Slovenian: Otrok
child in Finnish: Lapsi
child in Swedish: Barn
child in Tagalog: Anak
child in Vietnamese: Trẻ em
child in Tajik: Кӯдак
child in Turkish: Çocuk
child in Ukrainian: Дитина
child in Wu Chinese: 细路
child in Yiddish: קינד
child in Contenese: 細路
child in Chinese: 儿童

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

adolescent, angel, artifact, babe, baby, bairn, boy, brainchild, brat, brood, bud, cherub, chick, chickabiddy, child of nature, chit, coinage, composition, concoction, creation, creature, crowning achievement, darling, daughter, descendant, descendants, dickens, distillation, dove, dupe, effect, end product, essence, extract, foetus, foster child, fruit, girl, grandchild, granddaughter, grandson, handiwork, heiress, hick, infant, ingenue, innocent, invention, issue, juvenile, kid, kitten, lad, laddie, lamb, lambkin, lass, lassie, little bugger, little fellow, little guy, little innocent, little one, little tad, little tot, lout, manufacture, masterpiece, masterwork, mere child, minor, mintage, mite, moppet, neonate, new mintage, newborn, newborn babe, nipper, noble savage, oaf, offspring, opera, opus, opuscule, origination, outcome, outgrowth, peewee, posterity, product, production, progeniture, progeny, puss, result, rube, runabout, scion, seed, shaver, simple soul, small fry, son, son and heir, sonny, stepchild, stepdaughter, stepson, stripling, tad, teenager, teener, teenybopper, toddler, tot, unsophisticate, wee tot, work, yokel, young hopeful, young man, youngling, youngster, youth
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