9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[in-fuh nt] /ˈɪn fənt/
a child during the earliest period of its life, especially before he or she can walk; baby.
Law. a person who is not of full age, especially one who has not reached the age of 18 years; a minor.
a beginner, as in experience or learning; novice:
The new candidate is a political infant.
anything in the first stage of existence or progress.
of or relating to infants or infancy:
infant years.
being in infancy:
an infant king.
being in the earliest stage:
an infant industry.
of or relating to the legal state of infancy; minor.
Origin of infant
1350-1400; < Latin infant- (stem of infāns) small child, literally, one unable to speak, equivalent to in- in-3 + -fāns, present participle of fārī to speak; replacing Middle English enfaunt < Anglo-French < Latin, as above
Related forms
infanthood, noun
infantlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for infant
  • The new testament nowhere specifically authorizes or forbids infant baptism.
  • The anabaptists also have stood historically against the practice of infant baptism.
  • It gives an account of the murder of a woman and her infant son by a disgruntled mason.
  • When used in pregnancy, it might cause floppy infant syndrome.
  • From birth until the onset of speech, the child is referred to as an infant.
  • This led to overcrowding and the highest infant mortality in the kingdom.
  • In many species, infant baboons are taken by the males as hostages during fights.
  • Afterbirth is the delivery of the placenta following the delivery of the infant.
  • Premature birth is the birth of an infant before the full term of pregnancy.
  • Death is often the eventual outcome unless the infant receives artificial ventilation.
British Dictionary definitions for infant


a child at the earliest stage of its life; baby
(law) another word for minor (sense 10)
(Brit) a young schoolchild, usually under the age of seven
a person who is beginning or inexperienced in an activity
  1. of or relating to young children or infancy
  2. designed or intended for young children
in an early stage of development; nascent: an infant science or industry
(law) of or relating to the legal status of infancy
Derived Forms
infanthood, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin infāns, literally: speechless, from in-1 + fārī to speak
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for infant

late 14c., "child during earliest period of life" (sometimes extended to age 7 and sometimes including a fetus), from Latin infantem (nominative infans) "young child, babe in arms," noun use of adjective meaning "not able to speak," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + fans, present participle of fari "speak" (see fame (n.)). As an adjective, 1580s, from the noun.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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infant in Medicine

infant in·fant (ĭn'fənt)
A child in the earliest period of life, especially before he or she can walk.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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