Definition of infant in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈinfənt/


1A very young child or baby.
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, (tiny) tot, little one, papoose;
Medicine  neonate
informal tiny
literary babe, babe in arms, suckling
1.1 [as modifier] Denoting something in an early stage of its development: the infant science of bioelectrical medicine
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, embryonic, nascent, incipient, new, fledgling, budding, up-and-coming
1.2 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

Syllabification: in·fant

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