Cradle Cra"dle (kr[=a]d'l), n. [AS. cradel, cradol, prob. from Celtic; cf. Gael. creathall, Ir. craidhal, W. cryd a shaking or rocking, a cradle; perh. akin to E. crate.] 1. A bed or cot for a baby, oscillating on rockers or swinging on pivots; hence, the place of origin, or in which anything is nurtured or protected in the earlier period of existence; as, a cradle of crime; the cradle of liberty. [1913 Webster]

The cradle that received thee at thy birth. --Cowper. [1913 Webster]

No sooner was I crept out of my cradle But I was made a king, at nine months old. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. Infancy, or very early life. [1913 Webster]

From their cradles bred together. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

A form of worship in which they had been educated from their cradles. --Clarendon. [1913 Webster]

3. (Agric.) An implement consisting of a broad scythe for cutting grain, with a set of long fingers parallel to the scythe, designed to receive the grain, and to lay it evenly in a swath. [1913 Webster]

4. (Engraving) A tool used in mezzotint engraving, which, by a rocking motion, raises burrs on the surface of the plate, so preparing the ground. [1913 Webster]

5. A framework of timbers, or iron bars, moving upon ways or rollers, used to support, lift, or carry ships or other vessels, heavy guns, etc., as up an inclined plane, or across a strip of land, or in launching a ship. [1913 Webster]

6. (Med.) (a) A case for a broken or dislocated limb. (b) A frame to keep the bedclothes from contact with the person. [1913 Webster]

7. (Mining) (a) A machine on rockers, used in washing out auriferous earth; -- also called a {rocker}. [U.S.] (b) A suspended scaffold used in shafts. [1913 Webster]

8. (Carp.) The ribbing for vaulted ceilings and arches intended to be covered with plaster. --Knight. [1913 Webster]

9. (Naut.) The basket or apparatus in which, when a line has been made fast to a wrecked ship from the shore, the people are brought off from the wreck. [1913 Webster]

{Cat's cradle}. See under {Cat}.

{Cradle hole}, a sunken place in a road, caused by thawing, or by travel over a soft spot.

{Cradle scythe}, a broad scythe used in a cradle for cutting grain. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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