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[luhl-uh-bahy] /ˈlʌl əˌbaɪ/
noun, plural lullabies.
a song used to lull a child to sleep; cradlesong.
any lulling song.
verb (used with object), lullabied, lullabying.
to lull with or as with a lullaby.
Origin of lullaby
1550-60; equivalent to lulla, lulla(y), interjection used in cradlesongs (late Middle English lullai, lulli) + -by, as in bye-bye Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for lullaby
  • Perhaps because it is so universal and commonplace, the lullaby doesn't get much respect.
  • These were the lullaby years, when national security hardly mattered.
  • It's that long horizon, the soothing oceanic swell-the best lullaby ever invented.
  • All he can do is paint, knock down some rust, and accept his boat's lullaby sway.
  • And yet, nothing could ease his agitation, nothing could be parlayed into a lullaby.
  • Neighborhood children ask for chocolate bars, and an arcade game in the corner fills the bodega with an electronic lullaby.
  • It is as intimate as a lullaby, and as public as a parade.
British Dictionary definitions for lullaby


noun (pl) -bies
a quiet song to lull a child to sleep
the music for such a song
verb -bies, -bying, -bied
(transitive) to quiet or soothe with or as if with a lullaby
Word Origin
C16: perhaps a blend of lull + goodbye
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 lullaby

1560s, lulley by, from Middle English lollai, lullay, from lullen (see lull (v.)). Second element perhaps from by-by "good-by."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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