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to take charge of a child while the parents are temporarily away.
to baby-sit for (a child):
We’ve placed an ad for someone to baby-sit the youngsters in the evening.
to take watchful responsibility for; tend:
It will be necessary for someone to baby-sit the machine until it is running properly.
Contemporary Examples

She often left Caylee with her mother, who was willing to baby-sit.
In the Jury’s Hands Diane Dimond July 3, 2011

verb -sits, -sitting, -sat
(intransitive) to act or work as a baby-sitter


To attend and care for a child, or by extension, for anyone or anything: Which is why she has one of us baby-sitting twenty-four hours a day (1940s+)
To be a guide and companion to someone undergoing a psychedelic drug experience

[1960s+ narcotics; back formation from baby-sitter, ”nursemaid, nanny,” attested before 1940]


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  • Baby snatcher

    noun (informal) a person who steals a baby from its pram another name for cradle snatcher

  • Baby split

    a split in which the two and seven pins or the three and ten pins remain standing. noun phrase A split where two pins are left standing side by side (Bowling)

  • Baby spot

    a small spotlight, usually 250–400 watts, used to highlight a specific section of a stage setting or acting area. Historical Examples If procurable, a “baby spot light” is the best appliance, but lacking this, an automobile lamp and its battery can be used. Why the Chimes Rang: A Play in One Act Elizabeth Apthorp McFadden

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