A small low bed for an infant, often furnished with rockers. The earliest period of life: had an interest in music almost from the cradle. A place of origin; a birthplace: the cradle of civilization. A framework of wood or metal used to support something, such as a ship undergoing construction or repair. A framework used to protect an injured limb. A low flat framework that rolls on casters, used by a mechanic working beneath an automobile. Also called creeper. The part of a telephone that contains the connecting switch upon which the receiver and mouthpiece unit is supported. A frame projecting above a scythe, used to catch grain as it is cut so that it can be laid flat. A scythe equipped with such a frame. A boxlike device furnished with rockers, used for washing gold-bearing dirt. To place or retain in or as if in a cradle. To care for or nurture in infancy. To hold or support protectively: cradled the cat in his arms. To reap (grain) with a cradle. To place or support (a ship, for example) in a cradle. To wash (gold-bearing dirt) in a cradle. Obsolete To lie in or as if in a cradle.