- Present participle of cradle.
- The woman was cradling the baby in the crook of her arm as she fed it.
- The act by which one cradles a child etc.
- The act of using a cradle (the tool).
- (coopering) The cutting of a cask into two pieces lengthwise, to enable it to pass a narrow place, the two parts being afterwards united and rehooped.
- (carpentry) The framework in arched or coved ceilings to which the laths are nailed.
Variant of cradle
- a baby's small bed, usually on rockers
- the earliest period of one's life; infancy
- the place of a thing's beginning or early development: the cradle of civilization
- Old Poet. a place of rest: rocked in the cradle of the deep
- anything resembling a cradle or used somewhat like a cradle, as for holding or rocking; specif.,
- wooden or metal framework to support or lift a boat, ship, aircraft, etc. that is being built or repaired
- ☆ creeper (sense )
- the support on which the handset of a telephone () rests when not in use
- Agric. a frame fastened to a scythe () so that the grain can be laid evenly as it is cut
- Med. a frame for keeping bedclothes from touching an injured limb, etc.
- ☆ Mining a boxlike device on rockers, for washing the gold out of gold-bearing sand
Origin of cradleMiddle English cradel ; from Old English cradol ; from an unverified form kradula, little basket; akin to Old High German kratto, basket ; from Indo-European base an unverified form ger-, to twist, turn from source crank, cramp, creek
transitive verbcradled, cradling
- to place, rock, or hold in or as in a cradle
- to take care of in infancy; nurture
- to cut (grain) with a cradle scythe
- ☆ Mining to wash (gold-bearing sand) in a cradle
Obsolete to lie in or as in a cradle
rob the cradle
to take as one's sweetheart or one's spouse a person much younger than oneself