noun, often attributive
\ ˈbərth How to pronounce birth (audio) \

Definition of birth

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : the emergence of a new individual from the body of its parent
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
b : high or noble birth
4a archaic : one that is born


birthed; birthing; births

Definition of birth (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

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



Definition of birth (Entry 3 of 3)

: biological sense 3 his birth mother

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Synonyms & Antonyms for birth

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The program follows mother and baby for six months to a year after birth. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana marks the largest drop in its infant mortality rate in 6 years," 15 Jan. 2020 Having a home birth was less expensive than going to Miami Valley Hospital for Marina Genetin, 26, of Dayton. Megan Henry, USA TODAY, "Childbirth costs out-of-pocket are rising at a staggering rate, even with insurance," 13 Jan. 2020 Even Rentzel’s decision to wean off her medication under a doctor’s care in order to try to get pregnant seemed golden -- until about five months after Catie’s birth. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, "‘Relapse is part of the journey’: Dallas lawyer enlists colleagues to help watch for bipolar symptoms," 8 Jan. 2020 After Cyrus’s birth, the legend goes, Astyages ordered his general Harpagus to kill the baby. National Geographic, "History's first superpower sprang from ancient Iran," 6 Jan. 2020 Among the zoo-dwellers, births are extraordinarily rare. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Baby Black Rhino Born at Michigan Zoo on Christmas Eve," 27 Dec. 2019 This idea came from the finding that people born with cataracts develop normal face-recognition or holistic-processing skills, despite the removal of their cataracts approximately two months after birth. Sarah Bate, Scientific American, "New Promise for Those Who Suffer from Face Blindness," 26 Dec. 2019 For example, a few months after Jasmine’s birth, Mann overdosed in an attempt to end her life, her medical records show. Emily Palmer, ProPublica, "The Law Says She Should Have Been Protected From Birth. Instead, She Was Left in the Care of Her Drug-Addicted Mother, Who Killed Her.," 18 Dec. 2019 Jesus’ birth is a reminder that the Son of God comes to us with simplicity and humility. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "St. Francis Church calling all angels, shepherds and soldiers for annual Christmas Eve nativity," 12 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As the platform continues to birth new creators, Ms. Pappas said helping them make money is something the company is thinking hard about. Taylor Lorenz, New York Times, "TikTok’s Biggest Hits of the Year — and Its Predictions for 2020," 9 Dec. 2019 The cutest 50-year-old out there has warmed our cold hearts and birthed countless memes and appreciation posts. Derek Lawrence,, "What is going on with Laura Dern and Baby Yoda? An EW investigation," 5 Dec. 2019 But Nigel's death birthed a campaign focused on suicide awareness and the importance LGBTQ-acceptance in homes, schools and churches. al, "Huntsville woman mothering LGBTQ teens after son’s suicide," 23 Dec. 2019 Repeatedly, Wilks birthed chances for Cleveland’s offense to thrive on short fields, and instead the Browns punted five times in the first half. cleveland, "Steve Wilks’ 1st-half defense gave the Browns a chance until Freddie Kitchens’ offense failed them," 22 Dec. 2019 We were finally released into the street hours later, clutching bidets, brains dulled from the creation that had just been birthed. Amanda Hess, New York Times, "The Wild Woman Awakens," 17 Dec. 2019 Suddenly, a standard office tour video birthed a highly meme-able moment; even Ariana Grande reenacted the highly specific melodic delivery Jenner used for the standard phrase. Raisa Bruner, Time, "The 10 Best Memes of 2019," 22 Nov. 2019 The beginning of chattel slavery in North America birthed something else: Rebellion. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "How two centuries of slave revolts shaped American history," 8 Nov. 2019 The city also birthed a significant number of civil rights and political organizations as well as auxiliary movements, groups, leaders and Chicano scholars making it a mecca of U.S. Mexican American development. Elaine Ayala,, "San Antonio is the logical place for civil rights institute," 24 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Starbucks, for instance, last year sweetened the deal for its store employees, offering six weeks paid leave for all parents, not just birth mothers. Michelle Cheng, Quartz at Work, "Target is expanding parental leave, including for hourly and part-time workers," 10 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'birth.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of birth


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1831, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1958, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for birth


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

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Time Traveler for birth

Time Traveler

The first known use of birth was in the 13th century

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Statistics for birth

Last Updated

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Birth.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 2020.

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More Definitions for birth


How to pronounce birth (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of birth

: the time when a baby comes out from the body of its mother
: the beginning or origin of something
used to describe the kind of family a person comes from


\ ˈbərth How to pronounce birth (audio) \

Kids Definition of birth

1 : the coming of a new individual from the body of its parent
2 : the act of bringing into life
3 : lineage sense 1 a person of noble birth
4 : origin sense 3 the birth of a star


\ ˈbərth How to pronounce birth (audio) \

Medical Definition of birth

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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

Medical Definition of birth (Entry 2 of 3)

: to give birth to allowed to birth her child in her own way— Nancy 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 procedure— Kit Miniclier the baby birthed breech— Jayne Anne Phillips



Medical Definition of birth (Entry 3 of 3)

: biological sense 3 spent years searching for his birth parents

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More from Merriam-Webster on birth

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for birth

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with birth

Spanish Central: Translation of birth

Nglish: Translation of birth for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of birth for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about birth

Comments on birth

What made you want to look up birth? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express in a more acceptable way

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