Definition of infant in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɪnf(ə)nt/


1A very young child or baby: healthy infants [as modifier]: infant mortality
More example sentences
  • Children consistently rated girls better caregivers for infants, young kids and the elderly.
  • Very young children and newborn infants require a lower dose than older children.
  • Shaken baby syndrome occurs most frequently in infants younger than six months old, yet can occur up to the age of three.
baby, newborn, young child, little child, little one;
Scottish & Northern English  bairn, wean
informal tot, tiny tot, tiny, sprog
literary babe, babe in arms
technical neonate
1.1British A schoolchild between the ages of about four and eight: [as modifier]: their first year at infant school
More example sentences
  • Around 100 children were selected by Pinehurst junior and infants schools to attend the party.
  • Proposals have been revealed for the infant school, junior school and nursery to move to a new campus off Sheepfoot Lane, within the perimeter of Heaton Park.
  • Angry parents and residents were protesting yesterday over a proposal to build a mobile phone mast near an infant and junior school.
1.2 [as modifier] Denoting something in an early stage of its development: the infant Labour Party
More example sentences
  • From the early infant stage, children with autism are likely to be developmentally delayed.
  • Although the Texans' roster is only in its infant stages of development, the staff has had plenty to do besides scouting.
  • As raw as the theatrical chops may have been at this infant stage, the underlying talent is unquestionably in place.
developing, emergent, emerging, dawning, embryonic, nascent, new, fledgling, budding, burgeoning, growing, up-and-coming
1.3 Law A person who has not attained legal majority.
Example sentences
  • In the result the benefit of the lease was assigned by decree to the infant and the trustee, subject to indemnity, made to account for profits.
  • I would ask the Court to note that the plaintiff is an infant.
  • It may look different if the person being detained is an infant utterly incapable of fleeing the jurisdiction or giving trouble.


Late Middle English: from Old French enfant, from Latin infant- 'unable to speak', from in- 'not' + fant- 'speaking' (from the verb fari).

  • This is from Latin in- ‘not’ and fari ‘to speak’. According to law, an infant is a person who has not reached the age of legal majority, so is unable to speak for themselves in law. The Italian equivalent infante meant ‘youth’ and also ‘foot soldier’, from which arose infanteria, a body of foot soldiers. English adopted this as infantry in the late 16th century.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: in¦fant

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