birth

1 of 3

noun

plural births
1
a
: the emergence of a new individual from the body of its parent see also date of birth
b
: the act or process of bringing forth young from the womb
2
: a state resulting from being born especially at a particular time or place
a Southerner by birth
3
b
: high or noble birth
4
a
archaic : one that is born

birth

2 of 3

verb

birthed; birthing; births

transitive verb

1
chiefly dialectal : to bring forth
2
a
: to give rise to : originate
b
: to give birth to

intransitive verb

: to bring forth or be brought forth as a child or young

birth

3 of 3

adjective

: biological sense 3
his birth mother

Examples of birth in a Sentence

Noun He was present at the birth of his daughter. The hospital reported an increase in premature births. Please indicate your date of birth. the period from birth to adolescence a disease that is present at birth the birth of the solar system the birth of the blues We are witnessing the birth of a new era. Verb back in those days a woman her age would have birthed several children Adjective argued that the birth mother had not been informed of all of her options at the time of the adoption See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
However, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, most postpartum people can begin gentle exercises like walking just days after giving birth. Alesandra Dubin, Parents, 27 Feb. 2024 Brandon Jenner, 42 Less than a year after Cassandra's birth, Jenner welcomed a son, Brandon Jenner, with her second wife, Thompson, on June 4, 1981, in L.A. A singer-songwriter, Brandon made his reality television debut prior to his famous Kardashian step-siblings. Lynsey Eidell, Peoplemag, 27 Feb. 2024 The treatment is then bilaterally injected into the brains of these knockout mice two days after their birth. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 27 Feb. 2024 Her propensity for reporting her daughter as being sick started even earlier, when Dee Dee insisted Gypsy experienced sleep apnea as an infant soon after birth. Hannah Kirby, Journal Sentinel, 26 Feb. 2024 Bernard told me of a patient whose first child had a genetic anomaly and died less than a year after birth. Peter Slevin, The New Yorker, 25 Feb. 2024 State lawmakers recently extended Medicaid coverage for women to a year after giving birth, but without overall state Medicaid expansion, many have trouble qualifying and finding providers. Tim Craig, Washington Post, 24 Feb. 2024 This survivorship bias results in rightful celebrations of embryos who progress successfully to birth but neglects their brothers and sisters, the plight of close to 1 million human beings stuck on ice awaiting destruction, experimentation, or (in rare cases) adoption. The Editors, National Review, 23 Feb. 2024 They are known only by their mothers’ names, taken from tags affixed to their ankles at birth. Heba Farouk Mahfouz, Washington Post, 15 Feb. 2024
Verb
West Africans began to grapple with a shift in their understanding of elitism, which birthed a new body standard that incorporated the Western emphasis on thinness. Annie Blay, Allure, 22 Feb. 2024 So far, the startup’s care teams have helped birth 1,500 babies. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, 20 Feb. 2024 The 3-point shootout was birthed last year, with Ionescu’s record-breaking performance in the WNBA 3-point contest. Danny Emerman, The Mercury News, 18 Feb. 2024 Steeped in history, Fairmont was founded in 1907, when the opening of Fairmont San Francisco birthed a new age of luxury hospitality. Robb Report Studio, Robb Report, 12 Feb. 2024 In the Catholicism of my youth, a woman’s only role was to birth and raise more Catholics. Clare Egan, Longreads, 13 Feb. 2024 The director went on to call Downey’s role as Iron Man, which birthed the Marvel Cinematic Universe and carried it for a decade, one of the most important casting decisions ever made. Zack Sharf, Variety, 8 Feb. 2024 The coup birthed a rare consensus in the resistance that the only way to liberate Myanmar from the military was to rid the country of the junta by force, as opposed to a nonviolent approach previously embraced by some groups, including the Karen National Union and the Chin National Front. Avinash Paliwal, Foreign Affairs, 24 Jan. 2024 On the bright side, some of modern man’s most imaginative music and artwork was being birthed downtown—available for appreciation to those who learned to walk the razor. Jonathan Rowe, SPIN, 23 Jan. 2024
Adjective
The difference that doulas can make A doula — also known as a birth companion or post-birth supporter — provides physical, information, and emotional support to pregnant and postpartum people. Anika Nayak, STAT, 12 Jan. 2024 The Commission on the Status of Women in a resolution read Wednesday made clear its focus on protecting access to abortions, protecting health care providers and expanding access to what the panel called a full spectrum of pregnancy care—which includes abortions as well as post-birth care. Susan Montoya Bryan, Fortune, 31 Aug. 2022 Those were all Michelle MacDonald had to offer Minnesota other than a pro-gun, pro-birth agenda that in itself betrayed the commitment to objectivity and respect for the law that we are entitled to in all of our judges. Star Tribune, 4 Nov. 2020 When the twins — son Eames and daughter Ellison — arrived eight weeks early on Jan. 11, 2021, a judge had not yet considered the pre-birth order, which later was denied. Rachel Burchfield, Peoplemag, 20 Jan. 2023 The three months now offered to non-birth parents is a departure from the scant three weeks given under the previous policy. Arkansas Online, 17 Jan. 2023 Non-birth parents, adoptive parents and long-term foster parents were included before. Saleen Martin, USA TODAY, 5 Jan. 2023 This was certainly a fear of mine, and post-birth, gravity has done its thing. Elizabeth Ayoola, Essence, 31 Aug. 2022 The post-birth appearance outside the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital has become something of a royal tradition — started by Diana. Stephanie Petit, Peoplemag, 31 Aug. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'birth.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, from Old Norse byrth; akin to Old English beran

First Known Use

Noun

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1831, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Adjective

1958, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of birth was in the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near birth

Cite this Entry

“Birth.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/birth. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

birth

noun
ˈbərth
1
a
: the coming out of a new individual from the body of its parent
b
: the act or process of bringing forth young from the uterus
2
: descent sense 1, lineage
noble birth
3

Medical Definition

birth

1 of 3 noun
1
: the emergence of a new individual from the body of its parent
2
: the act or process of bringing forth young from the womb

birth

2 of 3 transitive verb
: to give birth to
allowed to birth her child in her own wayNancy Robinson

intransitive verb

: to bring forth or be brought forth as a child or young
contend that birthing is a natural process, rather than a medical procedureKit Miniclier
the baby birthed breechJayne Anne Phillips

birth

3 of 3 adjective
: biological sense 3
spent years searching for his birth parents

More from Merriam-Webster on birth

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