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US /ˈtʃɪl.drən/ 
UK /ˈtʃɪl.drən/ 

How many children do you have?

Oxford Essential Dictionary


 noun (plural children )

1 a young boy or girl:
There are 30 children in the class.

2 a daughter or son:
Have you got any children?
One of her children got married last year.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English


children /ˈtʃɪldrən/ BrE AmE
the plural of ↑child


child S1 W1 /tʃaɪld/ BrE AmE noun (plural children /ˈtʃɪldrən/) [countable]
[Language: Old English; Origin: cild]

1. YOUNG PERSON someone who is not yet an adult SYN kid:
The hotel is ideal for families with young children.
The film is not suitable for children under 12.
I was very happy as a child (=when I was a child).
a child of five/eight etc
For a child of five this was a terrifying experience.
a famous writer of children’s books
child victims of war
2. SON/DAUGHTER a son or daughter of any age:
I have five children, all happily married.
She lives with her husband, Paul, and three grown-up children.
Annie had always wanted to get married and have children.
Alex is an only child (=he has no brothers or sisters).
Our youngest child, Sam, has just started university.
eldest child especially BrE, oldest child especially American English
the decision to bring a child into the world (=have a baby)
3. SOMEBODY INFLUENCED BY AN IDEA someone who is very strongly influenced by the ideas and attitudes of a particular period of history
child of
a real child of the sixties
4. SOMEBODY WHO IS LIKE A CHILD someone who behaves like a child and is not sensible or responsible – used to show disapproval:
She’s such a child!
5. something is child’s play used to say that something is very easy to do:
I’ve cooked for 200 people before now. So, tonight is child’s play by comparison.
6. children should be seen and not heard an expression meaning that children should be quiet and not talk – used when you disapprove of the way a child is behaving
7. be with child old use to be ↑pregnant
8. be heavy/great with child old use to be nearly ready to give birth
• • •
a four-year-old/ten-year-old etc child A four-year-old child should not be left on their own.
a young child Young children are naturally curious about the world.
a small child (=a young one) My family lived in France when I was a small child.
a newborn child He was holding the newborn child in his arms.
an unborn child (=a baby that is still inside its mother) Smoking can damage your unborn child.
a spoilt/spoiled child (=allowed to do or have whatever he or she wants, and behaving badly) He’s behaving like a spoilt child.
a gifted child (=extremely intelligent) a special school for gifted children
a bright child (=intelligent) He was a bright child – always asking questions.
a good/bad child Be a good child and sit down!
a naughty child (=doing things that are not allowed) He's behaving like a naughty child.
an easy/difficult child (=easy or difficult to deal with) Marcus was a very happy, easy child.
a problem child (=very difficult to deal with) Problem children may need to be removed from the classroom.
an adopted child (=legally made part of a family that he or she was not born into) I didn’t find out that I was an adopted child until years later.
street children (=living on the streets because they have no homes) The organization aims to help street children in Latin America.
■ verbs
bring up a child especially British English, raise a child especially American English The cost of bringing up a child has risen rapidly.
a child is born Most children at born in hospital.
a child grows up One in four children is growing up in poverty.
■ child + NOUN
child abuse (=treating children in a very bad way, especially sexually) He was arrested on suspicion of child abuse.
child development She’s an expert in child development.
child labour British English, child labor American English (=the use of children as workers) The garments were made using child labour.
• • •
child someone who is not yet an adult. You don’t usually use child to talk about babies or teenagers: Many children are scared of the dark. | He’s just a child.
kid informal a child. Kid is the usual word to use in everyday spoken English: We left the kids in the car.
little boy/little girl a young male or female child: I lived there when I was a little girl. | Little boys love dinosaurs.
teenager someone between the ages of 13 and 19: There’s not much for teenagers to do around here.
adolescent a young person who is developing into an adult – used especially when talking about the problems these people have: He changed from a cheerful child to a confused adolescent.
youth especially disapproving a teenage boy – especially one who is violent and commits crimes: He was attacked by a gang of youths. | a youth court
youngster a child or young person – used especially by old people: You youngsters have got your whole life ahead of you. | He’s a bright youngster with a good sense of humour.
minor law someone who is not yet legally an adult: It is illegal to sell alcohol to a minor.

Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


child [child children]   [tʃaɪld]    [tʃaɪld]  noun (pl. chil·dren   [ˈtʃɪldrən]  ;   [ˈtʃɪldrən]  )
1. a young human who is not yet an adult
a child of three/a three-year-old child
men, women and children
an unborn child
not suitable for young children
I lived in London as a child.
• a child star

see also  brainchild, latchkey child, poster child, schoolchild

2. a son or daughter of any age
They have three grown-up children.
a support group for adult children of alcoholics
They can't have children.
see also  godchild, grandchild, love child, only child, stepchild 

compare  kid

3. a person who is strongly influenced by the ideas and attitudes of a particular time or person

• a child of the 90s

4. (disapproving) an adult who behaves like a child and is not mature or responsible
Idioms: child's play  with child  
Word Origin:
Old English cild, of Germanic origin. The Middle English plural childer or childre became childeren or children by association with plurals ending in -en, such as brethren.  
child noun
1. C
a child of three/a three-year-old child
boygirltoddlerbaby|informal kidyoungsterlad|formal technical infant|informal, disapproving brat|law minorjuvenile
Opp: adult, Opp: grown-up
a young child/boy/girl/baby/kid/infant
a little child/boy/girl/baby/kid/brat
look after/take care of a child/baby/kid
Child or kid? Kid is much more frequent in informal and spoken American English. Child is not often used of sb older than about 12; above that age you can call them kids, teenagers, young people, girls, youths or lads.
2. C
She has three children
a newborn child/son/daughter/boy/girl/baby
have/give birth to a child/son/daughter/boy/girl/baby/kid
bring up/raise a child/son/daughter/boy/girl/kid 
Having a baby/child
want a baby/a child/kids
start a family
conceive/be expecting/be going to have a baby/child
miss your period
become/get/ be/find out that you are pregnant
have a baby/a child/kids/a son/a daughter/twins/a family
have a normal/a difficult/an unwanted pregnancy; an easy/a difficult/a home birth
be in/go into/induce labour (especially US) labor
have/suffer/cause a miscarriage
give birth to a child/baby/daughter/son/twins
bring up/ (especially NAmE) raise a child/family
care for/ (especially BrE) look after a baby/child/kid
change (BrE) a nappy/(NAmE) a diaper/a baby
feed/breastfeed/bottle-feed a baby
be entitled to/go on maternity/paternity leave
go back/return to work after maternity leave
need/find/get a babysitter/good quality affordable childcare
balance/combine work and childcare/child-rearing/family life
educate/teach/home-school a child/kid
punish/discipline/spoil a child/kid
adopt a baby/child/kid
offer a baby for/put a baby up for adoption
(especially BrE) foster a child/kid
be placed with/be raised by foster parents 
Example Bank:
After they divorced, he refused to pay child support.
Children grow up so quickly!
He had old-fashioned ideas on how to bring up children.
He's always been a problem child.
How many children do you have?
It was a bit lonely being an only child.
My father died while I was still a small child.
She couldn't imagine the pain of losing a child at birth.
She didn't have her first child until she was nearly forty.
She works in a centre for delinquent children.
Teaching is particularly difficult when a class contains both slow and bright children.
The children were quite unruly and ran around the house as if they owned it.
Their first child was born with a rare heart condition.
There are a lot of street children in the poorer parts of the city.
They are expecting a child in June.
We had trouble conceiving our first child.
We have three teenage children.
We've got three teenage children.
What a precocious child— reading Jane Austen at the age of ten!
You can't spoil a child by giving it all the affection it wants.
a child custody dispute between divorced parents
a school for gifted children
an organization that campaigns for the rights of the unborn child
big with child
good food for growing children
tax concessions for families with dependent children
the bastard child of romantic fiction and horror.
the emotional connections which ensure healthy child development
therapy for sexually abused children
All the children learn to swim from an early age.
She was a child star but never made it as an adult.
The book is aimed at the parents of pre-school children.
The film is not suitable for young children.
a child of three/a three-year-old child
He took the children to Disneyland.
• I'm an only child.

• Will you put the children to bed

Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary


children /ˈtʃɪl.drən/

plural of child

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary



Children is the plural of child.



Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.

A child is a human being who is not yet an adult.
When I was a child I lived in a country village...
He’s just a child.
...a child of six...
It was only suitable for children.

Someone’s children are their sons and daughters of any age.
How are the children?...
The young couple decided to have a child.

Merriam-Webster's Advanced Learner's Dictionary

Merriam-Webster's Advanced Learner's Dictionary: 


children plural of child


child /ˈʧajəld/ noun, pl chil·dren /ˈʧɪldrən/ [count]
1 : a young person
• the birth of a child
• She's pregnant with their first child.
• a play for both children and adults
• I went there once as a child. [=when I was a child]
- often used before another noun.
• a child prodigy
• a child actor
child development
child psychologists
2 : a son or daughter
• All of their children are grown now.
• an elderly couple and their adult children
3 : an adult who acts like a child : a childlike or childish person
• I'm a child when it comes to doing taxes. [=I need to be told or shown what to do]
• Men are such children sometimes.
4 : a person who has been strongly influenced by a certain place or time or by the events happening during that time
• She's a child of her time.
• a child of the Depression
children should be seen and not heard
- used to say that children should be quiet and well-behaved;
with child old-fashioned : pregnant
• She found herself with child. [=she discovered that she was pregnant]



  1. What can you use a knife for? Think of as many possible ways?
  2. What's creativity? Do you consider yourself creative?
  3. What's the last creative thing you have done?
  4. Does your job/major at University/school include creativity?
  5. Do you believe that children are more creative than adults? If yes, why is it so?
  6. Does the educational system in your country persuade creativity? How?
  7. Do you think you can learn to be creative or is it something instinctive?


  1. How many children are there in your family? Is it fine or you preferred less/more children?
  2. Do you feel comfortable around children? Do you enjoy being with them?
  3. Who's the best child you've ever seen? How would you describe him/her?
  4. What's good about being a child? What are the downsides of being a child?
  5. If you had the chance to go back to your childhood, would you choose to do so? Why? Why not?
  6. How are children different from the time you were a child?
  7. What's the most wonderful thing about children?

Video Games

  1. Do you like playing video games? How do you feel when you are playing?
  2. Who plays video games more, adults or children? Why?
  3. Do you learn anything by playing video games? What?
  4. How many hours a day do you play? Do you think parents should set time limits for children?
  5. Are video games addictive?
  6. What are the disadvantages of playing video games?
  7. PlayStation, X-Box or Nintendo Wii – which is your favorite and why? Which one you are best at?


  1. Do you like your name? What does it mean?
  2. Who chose your name? Why did they choose this name for you?
  3. If you wanted to change your name, what name would you choose?
  4. When you have children, what would you call them?
  5. Do you think a person's name can influence his/her life/ character? Give examples.
  6. What is the most common boy/girl's name in your country? Do you like to have a common name or a distinctive one?
  7. Do women change their name after marriage? What do you think about it?


  1. What is your motivation in learning English? Is it important to have a motive?
  2. Have you ever tried to lose weight? Did you go on a diet/Did you exercise? What was your motivation? Were you successful?
  3. Are you generally self motivated or do you need outside motivations?
  4. What are some good motives for students to study better?
  5. What are some good motives for employees to work better?
  6. What are some good motives for children to behave well?
  7. What are the things that keep you motivated in life?


  1. Are you a patient person? Is it difficult for you? Is it important to be patient?
  2. How can you improve the quality of patience in yourself? What techniques can you think of?
  3. Are you more patient with your loved ones?
  4. When was the last time you lost your patience?
  5. Who/ what requires the most patience in your life?
  6. Do you have a lot of patience with children?
  7. Do you have a lot of patience with repairing things?
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