Meaning of “only child” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"only child" in British English

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only childnoun [ C ]

uk /ˌəʊn.li ˈtʃaɪld/ us /ˌoʊn.li ˈtʃaɪld/ plural only children

Examples from literature

  • But lots of recent studies show that only children are often happy and successful. 
  • Is it sad to be brought up as an only child, with no brothers and sisters to play with? 

(Definition of “only child” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"only child" in American English

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only childnoun [ C usually sing ]

us /ˈoʊn·li ˈtʃaɪld/

someone who has no sisters or brothers

(Definition of “only child” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)