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  • noun
    plural cradles
    [count] a bed for a baby that is usually designed to rock back and forth when pushed gently
    He learned to play chess when he was barely out of the cradle. [=when he was very young]
    formal :the place where something begins - usually singular; usually + of
    something that is used to hold or support something else
    She placed the phone back on its cradle.
    Brit :a platform designed to move up and down the sides of a building so that workers can paint, clean, etc. - see also cat's cradle
    from (the) cradle to (the) grave
    from the beginning until the end of life
    He led a life of hardship from the cradle to the grave.
    The book describes her life from cradle to grave.
    rob the cradle
    US informal :to date or marry someone who is much younger than you
    cradles; cradled; cradling
    [+ obj] :to hold (something or someone) gently in your arms or hands
    cradle a baby