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c.1200, cradel, from Old English cradol "little bed, cot," from Proto-Germanic *kradulas "basket" (cf. Old High German kratto, krezzo "basket," German Krätze "basket carried on the back"). Cat's cradle is from 1768. Cradle-snatching "amorous pursuit of younger person" is 1925, U.S. slang.
c.1500, from cradle (n.). Related: Cradled; cradling.
cradle cra·dle (krād'l)
A small low bed for an infant, often furnished with rockers.
A frame used to keep the bedclothes from pressing on an injured part.
in furniture, infant's bed of wood, wicker, or iron, having enclosed sides and suspended from a bar, slung upon pivots, or mounted on rockers. The rocking motion of the cradle is intended to lull the infant to sleep. The cradle is an ancient type of furniture, and its origins are unknown. Early cradles developed from hollowed-out tree trunks to oblong, lidless wood boxes, originally with apparently detachable rockers. Later cradles were paneled and carved, supported on pillars, inlaid, or mounted in gilded bronze.