• Giant Raft. In the background is a completed raft; in the foreground a cradle in which a raft is being built
    Giant Raft. In the background is a completed raft; in the foreground a cradle in which a raft is being built
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v cradle run with the stick
    • v cradle hold gently and carefully "He cradles the child in his arms"
    • v cradle wash in a cradle "cradle gold"
    • v cradle cut grain with a cradle scythe
    • v cradle hold or place in or as if in a cradle "He cradled the infant in his arms"
    • v cradle bring up from infancy
    • n cradle a baby bed with sides and rockers
    • n cradle a trough that can be rocked back and forth; used by gold miners to shake auriferous earth in water in order to separate the gold
    • n cradle where something originated or was nurtured in its early existence "the birthplace of civilization"
    • n cradle birth of a person "he was taught from the cradle never to cry"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

The dragon drops the cradle containing the little boy The dragon drops the cradle containing the little boy
Andrew Jackson's Cradle Andrew Jackson's Cradle
The Hand-cradle Method of extracting Gold The Hand-cradle Method of extracting Gold

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: If you need to dial the telephone and your dial is disabled, you can tap the button in the cradle. If, for example, you need to dial 911, you can tap the button 9 times, then pause, then tap once, then again.
    • Cradle A bed or cot for a baby, oscillating on rockers or swinging on pivots; hence, the place of origin, or in which anything is nurtured or protected in the earlier period of existence; as, a cradle of crime; the cradle of liberty. "The cradle that received thee at thy birth.""No sooner was I crept out of my cradle But I was made a king, at nine months old."
    • Cradle (Med) A case for a broken or dislocated limb.
    • Cradle (Med) A frame to keep the bedclothes from contact with the person.
    • Cradle 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.
    • Cradle (Mining) A machine on rockers, used in washing out auriferous earth; -- also called a rocker.
    • Cradle (Mining) A suspended scaffold used in shafts.
    • Cradle (Engraving) A tool used in mezzotint engraving, which, by a rocking motion, raises burrs on the surface of the plate, so preparing the ground.
    • Cradle (Agric) 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.
    • Cradle Infancy, or very early life. "From their cradles bred together.""A form of worship in which they had been educated from their cradles ."
    • Cradle (Naut) The 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.
    • Cradle (Carp) The ribbing for vaulted ceilings and arches intended to be covered with plaster.
    • Cradle To cut and lay with a cradle, as grain.
    • Cradle To lay to rest, or rock, as in a cradle; to lull or quiet, as by rocking. "It cradles their fears to sleep."
    • v. i Cradle To lie or lodge, as in a cradle. "Withered roots and husks wherein the acorn cradled ."
    • Cradle To nurse or train in infancy. "He that hath been cradled in majesty will not leave the throne to play with beggars."
    • Cradle To transport a vessel by means of a cradle. "In Lombardy . . . boats are cradled and transported over the grade."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n cradle A little bed or cot for an infant, usually mounted on rockers, or balanced or suspended in such a manner as to admit of a rocking or swinging motion.
    • n cradle Hence The place where any person or thing is nurtured in the earlier stage of existence: as, Asia, the cradle of the human race; the cradle of liberty, etc.
    • n cradle A standing bedstead for wounded seamen.
    • n cradle A name of various mechanical contrivances. That part of the stock of a crossbow where the missile is put.
    • n cradle An old game played by children: same as cat's-cradle.
    • cradle To place or rock in a cradle; quiet by or as if by rocking.
    • cradle To nurse in infancy.
    • cradle To cut with a cradle, as grain.
    • cradle To wash in a miners' cradle, as auriferous gravel.
    • cradle To lie in or as if in a cradle.
    • cradle To reinforce on the back with crossed strips in order to prevent warping: as, to cradle a picture.
    • cradle To support on or in a cradle: as, to cradle a ship while it is being raised to a higher level.
    • cradle To cut (a cask) in two longitudinally.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Cradle krā′dl a bed or crib in which children are rocked:
    • v.t Cradle to lay or rock in a cradle: to nurture
    • n Cradle krā′dl (fig.) infancy: the place where one is born and brought up: a frame in which anything is imbedded: a case for a broken limb: a frame under a ship for launching it: a box on rockers for washing auriferous dirt
    • ***


  • South African Proverb
    South African Proverb
    “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the nation and its destiny.”
  • Bertolt Brecht
    “From the cradle to the coffin underwear comes first.”
  • Vladimir Nabokov
    “The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness.”
  • Franz Grillparzer
    Franz Grillparzer
    “The cradle of the future is the grave of the past.”
  • Samuel Hoffenstein
    Samuel Hoffenstein
    “Babies haven't any hair; Old men's heads are just as bare; between the cradle and the grave lie a haircut and a shave”
  • Henry Ward Beecher
    “What a mother sings to the cradle goes all the way down to the coffin.”


Hand that rocks the cradle - Women have a great power and influence because they have the greatest influence over the development of children- the hand that rocks the cradle. ('The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world' is the full form.)
Rob the cradle - To rob the cradle is to marry or have a relationship with someone much younger.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. cradel, cradol, prob. from Celtic; cf. Gael. creathall, Ir. craidhal, W. cryd, a shaking or rocking, a cradle; perh. akin to E. crate,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. cradol; ety. obscure.


In literature:

Boats' chocks are sometimes called cradles.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
Fair in the cradle may be foul in the saddle.
"The Proverbs of Scotland" by Alexander Hislop
Harriet has just brought her doll's cradle to the carpenter, to get it mended.
"Child-Land" by Oscar Pletsch
It may be said of a tree as of a man, 'It was not sung at the tree's cradle that things should turn out thus.
"The Sand-Hills of Jutland" by Hans Christian Andersen
Fascines are made in a =cradle= which consists of five trestles.
"Manual of Military Training" by James A. Moss
And always he had an attentive eye on the cradle that stood near the fire.
"The Wonder" by J. D. Beresford
The great tree had once been small; indeed, in its cradle it had been an acorn.
"Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen" by Hans Christian Andersen
Six days appears to be the limit of time a redstart baby can submit to a cradle.
"Little Brothers of the Air" by Olive Thorne Miller
Waldron Cradle Blade and Snead, about 1840.
"Agricultural Implements and Machines in the Collection of the National Museum of History and Technology" by John T. Schlebecker
The advantage of this cradle consists in its having handles, and, therefore, being easily portable.
"Museum of Antiquity" by L. W. Yaggy

In poetry:

With only gratitude
Instead of love -
A pine in solitude
Cradling a dove.
"No One So Much As You" by Edward Thomas
Rejoice and be glad!
The Redeemer has come!
Go look on His cradle,
His cross, and His tomb.
"Rejoice and Be Glad!" by Horatius Bonar
On peak cradled
Hatsuse Mountain,
Remote upon the slopes,
The slowly drifting clouds
Are that girl, perhaps.
"On peak cradled" by Kakinomoto no Asomi Hitomaro
My mother dandled me and sang,
'How young it is, how young!'
And made a golden cradle
That on a willow swung.
"A Song From 'The Player Queen'" by William Butler Yeats
"O little did my mother ken,
The day she cradled me,
The lands I was to travel in,
Or the death I was to die!"
"The Queen's Marie" by Andrew Lang
You, whom I do not tell that all night long
I lie weeping,
whose very being makes me feel wanting
like a cradle.
"Song" by Rainer Maria Rilke

In news:

New Orleans as the cradle of jazz.
Converts vs ' Cradle Catholics'.
Playworld Systems, a leading manufacturer of imaginative playground and fitness equipment, today announced all of its product lines from its 2010 catalog have been Cradle to Cradle Certified Basic.
Kansas was the cradle of cowboy culture.
Democracy's Cradle , Rocking the World.
The image of a dead preschooler cradled by the prime ministers of Egypt and Gaza in a hospital hallway has drawn attention to the dangers Gaza's children face in this crowded urban battle zone.
There's a man on the ground cradling a long rifle with a fat barrel topped with a hulking telescopic sight.
Philadelphia, the cradle of American democracy , where the founding fathers gathered to declare our nation's independence and to ring out that news on the Liberty Bell, still proudly displayed here.
A baby Jesus figure taken from a Pennsylvania church's Nativity scene last year was found cradled in the arms of a nearby statue, just hours before the replacement statue was swiped.
" From cradle to grave, we're subtly (and sometimes not so) nudged to be narrow, " focused ", and to "decide what you're going to do with your life.
But, then again, babies are quite small, and only really require one arm to cradle.
Gaga posted a tweet sharing the news of her loss, along with a photo of her godfather cradling her in his arms when she was a newborn.
They vacationed here for years, then, when retirement came, they pulled up roots up north and came here to be cradled by the Smokies fulltime.
John Goodman leaped, juggled the ball as he battled a defender and finally cradled it in his arms as he landed in the end zone.
The 20-gauge shotgun rode easily in my hands as I walked down a trail on the north slope of a tangled ravine that cradled a trickling stream.

In science:

We favor the idea that the HC contains very young massive (proto)star(s) as it is in all aspects (richness of the molecular composition, large mass of 800 M⊙ , high temperature of 65 K) similar to the other HCs known in the literature, which are believed to be the cradle of early-type stars (Kurtz et al. 2000).
Relative Evolutionary Time Scale of Hot Molecular Cores with Respect to Ultra Compact HII Regions
Such systems may thus be considered as both the cradle and the main backbone of life” .
Route to Room-Temperature Superconductivity from a Practical Point of View
It suggests that stellar evolution processes and stellar deaths may serve as the cradle for the birth and/or rejuvenation of a new generation of planets, rather than just being the death throes or hostile hosts for pre-existing planets.
Second generation planets
The integration cradles are under development and a first integration test with a demonstrator has been successfully conducted in October 2009.
A large scale prototype for a SiW electromagnetic calorimeter for a future linear collider
The integration cradles are under development and a first integration test with a demonstrator has been successfully conducted.
Calorimetry for Lepton Collider Experiments - CALICE results and activities