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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.
Historical Examples

So then I went to the home of the person I normally have for a baby-sitter.
Warren Commission (3 of 26): Hearings Vol. III (of 15) The President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy

a person who takes care of a child or children while the parents are out
verb -sits, -sitting, -sat
(intransitive) to act or work as a baby-sitter


A destroyer that guards an aircraft carrier (Navy fr Vietnam War)


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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