be born to start your life:
He was born in 1990.
Where were you born?
I. born1 S1 W2 verb
1. be born when a person or animal is born, they come out of their mother’s body or out of an egg:
• Forty lambs were born this spring.
be born in
• Swift was born in 1667.
be born at
• Then, most babies were born at home.
be born on
• I was born on December 15th, 1973.
be born into/to/of something (=be born in a particular situation, type of family etc)
• One third of all children are born into single-parent families.
be born with something (=have a particular disease, type of character etc since birth)
• Jenny was born with a small hole in her heart.
• I was born and raised (=was born and grew up) in Alabama.
be born blind/deaf etc (=be blind, deaf etc when born)
• a newly-born baby
• the queen’s firstborn son
be born lucky/unlucky etc (=always be lucky, unlucky etc)
Australian/French etc born (=born in or as a citizen of Australia etc)
► Do not say ‘I born’, ‘I have been born’, or ‘I am born’. Say I was born: I was born in Pakistan.
2. START EXISTING be born something that is born starts to exist:
• the country where the sport of cricket was born
be born (out) of (=as a result of a particular situation)
• The alliance was born of necessity in 1941.
• Bill spoke with a cynicism born of bitter experience.
3. born and bred born and having grown up in a particular place and having the typical qualities of someone from that place:
• I was born and bred in Liverpool.
4. be born to do/be something to be very suitable for a particular job, activity etc:
• He was born to be a politician.
5. I wasn’t born yesterday spoken used to tell someone you think is lying to you that you are not stupid enough to believe them
6. there’s one born every minute spoken used to say that someone has been very stupid or easily deceived
7. be born under a lucky/unlucky star to always have good or bad luck in your life
8. be born with a silver spoon in your mouth to be born into a rich family ⇨ natural-born
born verb, adjective [bɔːn] [bɔːrn]
verb be born (used only in the passive, without by)
1. (abbr. b.) to come out of your mother's body at the beginning of your life
• I was born in 1976.
• He was born in a small village in northern Spain.
• She was born with a weak heart.
• ~ into sth She was born into a very musical family.
• ~ of/to sb He was born of/to German parents.
• + adj. Her brother was born blind (= was blind when he was born).
• + noun John Wayne was born Marion Michael Morrison (= that was his name at birth).
2. (of an idea, an organization, a feeling, etc.) to start to exist
• the city where the protest movement was born
• ~ (out) of sth She acted with a courage born (out) of desperation.
3. -born (in compounds) born in the order, way, place, etc. mentioned
see also newborn
more at not know you are born at know v., to the manner born at manner, be/be born/be made that/this way at way n.
Old English boren, past participle of beran ‘to bear’, of Germanic origin; from an Indo-European root shared by Sanskrit bharati, Greek pherein, and Latin ferre.
The ages of life
be born and raised/bred in Oxford; into a wealthy/middle-class family
have a happy/an unhappy/a tough childhood
grow up in a musical family/an orphanage; on a farm
be/grow up an only child (= with no brothers or sisters)
reach/hit/enter/go through adolescence/puberty
be in your teens/early twenties/mid-twenties/late twenties
undergo/experience physical/psychological changes
give in to/succumb to/resist peer pressure
assert your independence/individuality
go out to work (at sixteen)
get/find a job/partner
have/get a wife/husband/mortgage/steady job
settle down and have kids/children/a family
begin/start/launch/build a career (in politics/science/the music industry)
prove (to be)/represent/mark/reach a (major) turning point for sb/in your life/career
reach/be well into/settle into middle age
have/suffer/go through a midlife crisis
take/consider early retirement
approach/announce/enjoy your retirement
have/see/spend time with your grandchildren
take up/pursue/develop a hobby
get/receive/draw/collect/live on a pension
approach/save for/die from old age
live to a ripe old age
reach the grand old age of 102/23 (often ironic)
be/become/be getting/be going senile (often ironic)
die (peacefully)/pass away in your sleep/after a brief illness
• I was born and bred in Texas.
• She was born into a wealthy family.
• The part is played by an American-born actress.
• Their child was born with a serious medical problem.
• babies who are born to very young mothers
• to be born of noble parents
Idioms: born and bred ▪ born to be something ▪ born with a silver spoon in your mouth ▪ in all my born days ▪ not be born yesterday ▪ there's one born every minute
adjective only before noun
having a natural ability or skill for a particular activity or job
• a born athlete/writer/leader
• a born loser (= a person who always loses or is unsuccessful)
[born] Old English boren, past participle of beran ‘to bear’, of Germanic origin; from an Indo-European root shared by Sanskrit bharati, Greek pherein, and Latin ferre.
Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary - 4th Edition
born / bɔːn / / bɔːrn / verb
be born A2 to come out of a mother's body, and start to exist:
She was born in 1950.
We saw a lamb being born.
Diana was born into an aristocratic family.
Ann was born and brought up in Ealing.
having started life in a particular way:
The toll of babies born with AIDS is rising.
Stevie Wonder was born blind.
C2 formal or literary If an idea is born, it starts to exist. born of sth formal existing as the result of something:
With a courage born of necessity, she seized the gun and ran at him.
© Cambridge University Press 2013
1) V-PASSIVE When a baby is born, it comes out of its mother's body at the beginning of its life. In formal English, if you say that someone is born of someone or to someone, you mean that person is their parent.
[be V-ed] My mother was 40 when I was born...
[be V-ed] She was born in London on April 29, 1923...
[be V-ed of/to n] He was born of German parents and lived most of his life abroad...
[V-ed] Willie Smith was the second son born to Jean and Stephen.
2) V-PASSIVE: no cont If someone is born with a particular disease, problem, or characteristic, they have it from the time they are born.
[be V-ed with n] He was born with only one lung...
[be V-ed adj] Some people are born brainy...
[be V-ed to-inf] I think he was born to be editor of a tabloid newspaper...
[be V-ed n] We are all born leaders; we just need the right circumstances in which to flourish.
3) V-PASSIVE: no cont You can use be born in front of a particular name to show that a person was given this name at birth, although they may be better known by another name. [FORMAL]
[be V-ed n] She was born Jenny Harvey on June 11, 1946.
4) ADJ: ADJ n You use born to describe someone who has a natural ability to do a particular activity or job. For example, if you are a born cook, you have a natural ability to cook well.
Jack was a born teacher.
5) V-PASSIVE When an idea or organization is born, it comes into existence. If something is born of a particular emotion or activity, it exists as a result of that emotion or activity. [FORMAL]
[be V-ed] The idea for the show was born in his hospital room...
[be V-ed] Congress passed the National Security Act, and the CIA was born...
[be V-ed out of/of n] Energy conservation as a philosophy was born out of the 1973 oil crisis.
6) → See also -born, first born, newborn
7) be born and bred → see breed
be born with a silver spoon in your mouth → see spoon
COMB in ADJ: usu ADJ n
-born combines with adjectives that relate to countries or with the names of towns and areas to form adjectives that indicate where someone was born. [JOURNALISM]
The German-born photographer was admired by writers such as Oscar Wilde...
Lancashire-born Miss Richardson lives alone in London.
born /ˈboɚn/ adj
1 not used before a noun : brought into life by the process of birth
• She was born in a hospital.
• He was born on a farm.
• She was born in Nigeria in 1911.
• The baby was born on July 31st.
• Their second son was born prematurely.
- see also firstborn, newborn
2 : having certain qualities or characteristics from the time of birth
• born blind/deaf
• Both twins were born healthy.
• The author Mark Twain was born Samuel Clemens. [=was named Samuel Clemens at birth]
• She's a born teacher/leader. [=she was born with the qualities that make someone a teacher/leader]
✦If you were born to do something or born to be something, you have natural qualities or talents that make you perfectly suited to do or be something.
• She was born to teach. = She was born to be a teacher.
3 not used before a noun
- used to describe the place where someone was born
• He's American born. [=he was born in America]
• He's Mexican born and bred. = He was born and bred in Mexico. [=his birth and childhood took place in Mexico]
- often used in combination
4 not used before a noun
- used to describe the social conditions or situations that exist when people are born
• Some are born in slavery, others born merely poor.
• She was born to riches/wealth. = She was born into a rich/wealthy family.
- see also highborn
5 not used before a noun : brought into existence
• Her dream of owning farm was born when she visited the countryside as a child.
• The wine is born [=created] from the union of two very different grapes.
• a mentality born in the age of computers
• Their relationship was born of necessity [=established because it was necessary in some way], but it has developed into a true and lasting friendship.
• Church leaders assert that the recent unrest in the city is born out of [=has occurred because of] years of neglect of the city's poor neighborhoods.
born too late
✦Someone who is said to be born too late seems to be better suited for life in an earlier time period.
• John prefers early jazz music over the modern stuff. I guess he was born too late.
born with a silver spoon in your mouth
✦If you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you were born into a very wealthy family.
in all your born days informal + somewhat old-fashioned : in your entire life - used to express how unexpected or unusual something is
• I never saw anything like it in all my born days.
there's one born every minute or there's a sucker born every minute informal
- used to say that there are many people in the world who are foolish and can be easily deceived;
to the manner born
- see manner
to the manor born
- see manor
wasn't born yesterday
✦Someone who wasn't born yesterday is unlikely to believe something that is not true or to trust someone who is not trustworthy.
• He said he'd pay me back, but I'll believe it when I see it. I wasn't born yesterday.