English

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Cradle for the Queen of England.

Etymology

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From Middle English cradel, credel, from Old English cradol, from Proto-West Germanic *kradul, from Proto-Germanic *kradulaz, from Proto-Germanic *kradô ((wicker) basket). Related to cart.

Pronunciation

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Noun

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cradle (plural cradles)

  1. A bed or cot for a baby, oscillating on rockers or swinging on pivots.
    • 1591 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Second Part of Henry the Sixt, []”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene ix]:
      No sooner was I crept out of my cradle / But I was made a king, at nine months old.
    • 1782, William Cowper, Expostulation:
      the cradle that received thee at thy birth
    • 1805, Songs for the Nursery, page 5:
      Hush-a-by, baby, upon the tree-top; / When the wind blows the cradle will rock; / When the bough breaks the cradle will fall; / Down will come cradle and baby and all.
  2. (figuratively) The place of origin, or in which anything is nurtured or protected in the earlier period of existence.
    a cradle of crime
    the cradle of liberty
  3. (figuratively) Infancy, or very early life.
    from the cradle to the grave
  4. 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.
  5. A tool used in mezzotint engraving, which, by a rocking motion, raises burrs on the surface of the plate, so as to prepare the ground.
  6. 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.
  7. A case for a broken or dislocated limb.
  8. A frame to keep the bedclothes from contact with the sensitive parts of an injured person.
  9. (mining) A machine on rockers, used in washing out auriferous earth.
    • 1887, Harriet W. Daly, Digging, Squatting, and Pioneering Life in the Northern Territory of South Australia, page 146:
      Rough men brought pickle bottles full of nuggets. Mysterious dirty-looking calico bags were opened, disclosing small quantities of water-worn flaky gold, which had been washed out of the beds of rivers with a cradle.
  10. (mining) A suspended scaffold used in shafts.
  11. (carpentry) A ribbing for vaulted ceilings and arches intended to be covered with plaster.
    • 1853, Samuel Charles Brees, The Illustrated Glossary of Practical Architecture and Civil Engineering:
      A strong iron bar is fixed at the top of each cradle, to which the suspending chains are attached; the latter pass over the sheaves, and the cradles are kept in a horizontal position, by means of an adjusting rod placed above them
  12. (nautical) 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.
    The cradle was ill-made. One victim fell into the sea and was lost and the ensuing delay cost three more lives.
  13. A rest for the receiver of a telephone, or for certain computer hardware.
    He slammed the handset into the cradle.
  14. (contact juggling) A hand position allowing a contact ball to be held steadily on the back of the hand.
  15. A mechanical device for tilting and decanting a bottle of wine.

Synonyms

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  • (machine on rockers used in washing out auriferous earth): rocker
  • (rest for receiver of a telephone): rest

Derived terms

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Terms derived from cradle (noun)

Translations

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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also

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Verb

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cradle (third-person singular simple present cradles, present participle cradling, simple past and past participle cradled)

  1. (transitive) To contain in or as if in a cradle.
  2. (transitive) To rock (a baby to sleep).
  3. (transitive) To wrap protectively, to hold gently and protectively.
    cradling the injured man’s head in her arms
  4. To lull or quieten, as if by rocking.
  5. To nurse or train in infancy.
    • 1665, Joseph Glanvill, Scepsis Scientifica: Or, Confest Ignorance, the Way to Science; [], London: [] E. C[otes] for Henry Eversden [], →OCLC:
      He that hath been cradled in majesty will not leave the throne to play with beggars.
  6. (lacrosse) To rock the lacrosse stick back and forth in order to keep the ball in the head by means of centrifugal force.
  7. To cut and lay (grain) with a cradle.
  8. To transport a vessel by means of a cradle.
    • Edward H[enry] Knight (1877) “Cradle”, in Knight’s American Mechanical Dictionary. [], volumes I (A–GAS), New York, N.Y.: Hurd and Houghton [], →OCLC:In Lombardy [] boats are cradled and transported over the grade.
  9. To put ribs across the back of (a picture), to prevent the panels from warping.

Translations

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Further reading

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Anagrams

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