The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
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
The cradle that received thee at thy birth.
No sooner was I crept out of my cradle
But I was made a king, at nine months old. --Shak.
2. Infancy, or very early life.
From their cradles bred together. --Shak.
A form of worship in which they had been educated
from their cradles. --Clarendon.
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.
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.
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.
(a) A case for a broken or dislocated limb.
(b) A frame to keep the bedclothes from contact with the
(a) A machine on rockers, used in washing out auriferous
earth; -- also called a rocker. [U.S.]
(b) A suspended scaffold used in shafts.
8. (Carp.) The ribbing for vaulted ceilings and arches
intended to be covered with plaster. --Knight.
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.
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