AskDefine | Define children

Dictionary Definition

children (See child)


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



The ending -ren is cognate to Dutch -eren.


  • /ˈʧɪl.dɹən/, /"tSIl.dr@n/
  • Hyphenation: child·ren


  1. More than one son or daughter, or none. Offspring.
    Do you have children?
    Yes, I have three children.
    No, I have no children.
  2. More than one young person, or none.
    There are no children absent from classes today
  3. Members of a tribe.
    The children of Israel
  4. Things or abstractions derived from or caused by something.
    Poverty, disease, and despair are the children of war.



more than one son or daughter
young people
  • Arabic: أطفال
  • Czech: děti
  • Dutch: kinderen
  • French: enfants
  • trreq German
  • Irish: clann i collective noun
  • Italian: bambibi, figli
  • Spanish: niños
  • Swahili: watoto

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

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

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

babyhood, boyhood, breed, brood, childkind, descendants, descent, family, folks, fruit, get, girlhood, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, hearth, heirs, homefolks, hostages to fortune, house, household, inheritors, issue, kids, lineage, little kids, little ones, menage, new generation, offspring, people, posterity, progeny, rising generation, seed, small fry, sons, succession, tots, treasures, young, young blood, young fry, young people, younglings, youngsters, youth
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