Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Like or befitting a child, as in innocence, trustfulness, or candor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. innocent and trustful; credulous; artless
  • adj. of, like, or suitable for a child; meek; submissive

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Resembling a child, or that which belongs to children; becoming a child; meek; submissive; dutiful.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Resembling a child or that which is proper to childhood; becoming to or characteristic of a child; hence, submissive, dutiful, trustful, artless, inexperienced, etc.
  • Synonyms Childlike, Childish, Infantile, Infantine. Childlike and childish express that which is characteristic of a child, the former applying to that which is worthy of approbation, or at least does not merit disapproval, and the latter usually to that which is not: as, a childlike freedom from guile; a childish petulance. To express that which belongs to the period of childhood, without qualifying it as good or bad, child or childhood is often used in composition: as, child-toil, childhood-days. Infantile and infantine are applied to the first stages of childhood; no clear distinction between them has yet been established. See youthful.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. exhibiting childlike simplicity and credulity
  • adj. befitting a young child

Etymologies

child +‎ -like (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • All but Violet, who stood amazed, slowly pushing up her Mardi Gras mask to reveal an expression of childlike wonder.

    Darkness Becomes Her

  • The right-hand page shows in childlike handwriting the first lines of his poem “Pastoral”: “The little sparrows/hop ingenuously/about the pavement/quarreling.”

    2009 January « One-Minute Book Reviews

  • Shiva: Yes, I think Elfed Lied would be right up your alley, the childlike comes from the Japanese tradition which for the most part, even men don't have facial hair, or much facial hair, but also just the style - I think except for a few characters most of the characters were between 11-18 if that helps.

    Up and down, crash and burn: nightcare to job hunt to darkness

  • Old Ebbits looked at me in childlike wonder, while Zilla sneered openly at the absurdity of my question.

    The White Man's Way

  • Ericsen was rubbing his huge hands in childlike glee.

    Charley's "Coup"

  • Brother Saul -- How beautifully childlike is the obedience of Ananias to

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

  • And I was dressed according to my mother's fancy, in childlike style, without hoops, and with my hair cropped short all over my head.

    Daisy

  • In this volume religious sublimity is clothed in childlike simplicity.

    The Mother's Book

  • He was frequently described as childlike, vulgar and coarse, in contrast to the pleasant, businesslike manner he once had.

    NPR Topics: News

  • He was ageless, his growth stunted from opium and his expression childlike in its emptiness.

    totse.com

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.