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

geniture, nativity

Synonyms: Verb

bear, deliver, drop, have, mother, produce

Synonyms: Adjective

biological (also biologic), consanguineous, natural

Antonyms: Adjective

adopted, adoptive, nonbiological

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Examples of birth in a Sentence


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.


back in those days a woman her age would have birthed several children


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 actress gave birth to her son in October, about two weeks after her due date. Yvonne Villarreal,, "‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ star Yvonne Strahovski became a mother before Season 3 — and things got real," 4 June 2019 While most of us were prepping for our Memorial Day barbecues, Counting On's Jessa Duggar was at home giving birth to her third baby. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "See the First Photos of 'Counting On' Stars Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald's New Baby," 29 May 2019 WPA PoolGetty Images Meghan Markle gave birth to Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor on May 6, 2019. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Will Meghan and Harry Send Baby Archie to an American School?," 23 May 2019 In 2017, ahead of her first business trip since giving birth to her son, entrepreneur Sarah Paiji Yoo was doing research on how to switch him to formula. Lane Florsheim, WSJ, "Hate Buying Cleaning Supplies? There’s a Pill for That," 20 May 2019 The original Magnolia Market, AKA the little shop on Bosque, closed in 2006 after Jo gave birth to their first two children, Drake and Ella Rose. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "Chip and Joanna Gaineses' Love Story Is Better Than The Notebook," 19 Apr. 2019 Prior to the birth of her son (now 3), Nobbe enjoyed rock climbing, biking, and solo travel. Danielle Williams, SELF, "11 Adventurous Moms Worth Following on Instagram," 20 May 2019 After announcing the birth of their fourth child on May 10, the pair have shared the name of their new son — Psalm West. Teen Vogue, "Kim Kardashian-West and Kanye West Name Their New Baby Psalm West," 17 May 2019 Getty Images Following the birth of her child with Prince Harry, Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle missed her recent class of ’99 high school reunion. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Couldn't Make Her High School Reunion, But She Did Send a Lovely Note," 17 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Of course, from this birthed several theories about her next chapter. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Taylor Swift Just Dropped Her New Song and Music Video—and They’re So Surprising," 26 Apr. 2019 The business plan sketched out 50 years ago on a cocktail napkin in a Texas hotel transformed the global airline industry, birthing copycats including Ryanair and AirAsia as well as the deregulation of the once-clubby U.S. aviation market in 1978. Doug Cameron, WSJ, "Herb Kelleher, Fun-Loving Co-Founder of Southwest Airlines, Dies at 87," 3 Jan. 2019 But unfortunately that culture which was, and which still exists to some extent, birthed something really problematic for for the country. NBC News, "De Blasio message to Dems: Find 'courage' to tax the rich," 16 May 2018 All That Viral Denim As a married couple, Ksenia and Anton Schnaider birthed the buzzy Ukrainian denim label Ksenia Schnaider. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Meet the Married Couple From Kiev Behind All That Viral Denim," 13 Mar. 2019 Her kids were birthed with no pain relief, and the danger of dying during childbirth is really, really high. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Jenna Coleman Reveals Why She Likes Playing Victoria Most When the Queen Is Pregnant," 14 Jan. 2019 Chinese scientists at a different research facility have had to use caesarean sections to birth lambs whose MSTN genes were deleted with Crispr, because some grew too large to be birthed naturally. Lucy Craymer, WSJ, "Big Tongues and Extra Vertebrae: The Unintended Consequences of Animal Gene Editing," 14 Dec. 2018 The director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced the spending spree on the final day of a conference in Washington celebrating its sixty-year history, including its storied role in birthing the internet. Zachary Fryer-biggs, The Verge, "The Pentagon plans to spend $2 billion to put more artificial intelligence into its weaponry," 8 Sep. 2018 Their performance on Kimmel’s show comes a few months after their September signing to Johnny Wright’s Wright Entertainment Group (WEG), which is famous for birthing fellow boy bands like New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys, and *NSYNC. Natalie Maher, Billboard, "In Real Life in Perfect Synch For 'Eyes Closed' on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!': Watch," 8 Feb. 2018

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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Statistics for birth

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for birth

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

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More Definitions for birth



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with birth

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


a tendency to relapse

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