1. [mid-19C] (UK Und., also bab) a man who has recently been initiated into crime; one who has been committed to trial.
2. [mid-19C] (UK Und.) a confidence trickster’s accomplice.
3. [1910s+] (orig. US) a girl, girlfriend or young woman, esp. if attractive; thus babe alert, a warning to other men to note the approach of an attractive woman [the term entered sl. c.1915, waned somewhat after 1950 but gained a new lease of life, and began to refer to either sex in the late 1980s].
4. [1910s+] a form of address, irrespective of sex, e.g. Where you goin’, babe?
5. [1910s+] something excellent, desirable; also as phr. the babes.
6. [1980s] (US campus) an unpleasant woman.
7. [1980s+] used congratulatorily, a person of either sex (though still usu. female).
[1990s+] very beautiful, very sexy; usu. of a woman, but occas. a man.
[1970s+] (US gay) a very youthful-looking homosexual man.
[1990s+] (US campus) a good-looking woman.
[1990s+] (US) an apartment used by a man for the seduction of women.
see under -magnet sfx
[1990s+] (US teen) an admirable, attractive person of the opposite (or preferred) sex.
SE in slang uses
[late 17C–early 19C] one who is imprisoned in the stocks or pillory.
[mid-17C- early 19C] one who looks ‘holier-than-thou’ but is not; a hypocrite.