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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The clip shows the newborn, who weighed under two pounds at birth, gradually getting to her feet and bonding with Flower in their barn. Anna Lazarus Caplan, Peoplemag, 9 Aug. 2022 Trent was abandoned at birth and endured a harsh coming-of-age in Atlanta’s overwhelmed foster care system. Joe Otterson, Variety, 8 Aug. 2022 At the end of 2021, there were 123 programs nationwide that opened long-term savings accounts for children, usually at birth or in kindergarten and usually for college, according to Prosperity Now, a nonprofit advancing racial economic equity. Kathleen Pender, San Francisco Chronicle, 6 Aug. 2022 Under Tennessee's bathroom law, a person can seek monetary damages if school officials allow a transgender person into a bathroom or locker room that does not correspond with their gender assigned at birth when others are present. Hannah Sarisohn, CNN, 5 Aug. 2022 All but 1% of U.S. monkeypox cases so far are people who were assigned male at birth, federal health officials say. Dennis Romero, NBC News, 5 Aug. 2022 By challenging the gender norms people are assigned at birth, drag performers transgress such borders onstage, and transgender people transgress them throughout their lives. Steven W. Thrasher, Rolling Stone, 2 Aug. 2022 He was told to participate with the girls in elementary school because he was designated female at birth. Hartford Courant, 2 Aug. 2022 An autopsy showed the child was a healthy, full-term baby and alive at birth. Ngan Ho, Baltimore Sun, 30 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But if multiple embryos are implanted, Georgia’s law could require a woman to carry multiple children to birth, experts warn. Jeff Amy, ajc, 30 July 2022 But if multiple embryos are implanted, Georgia’s law could require a woman to carry multiple children to birth, experts warn. Jeff Amy, al, 30 July 2022 The dystopian feminist novel centers on handmaid Offred, who lives in a totalitarian theocratic state known as the Republic of Gilead, where handmaids are forced to birth children for the ruling class. Mary Cadden, USA TODAY, 30 June 2022 Architects were channeling a larger desire to birth new nations independent of the intellectual, political and cultural domination of the old empire. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 17 May 2022 Among the central norms and expectations therein is that women are to bear, birth and care for children regardless of our own wishes. CNN, 27 June 2022 The team behind 2018's Falcon Age has returned with a Persona-like quest that might birth a new genre abbreviation: SARPG (South Asian Role Playing Game). Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 19 June 2022 Baker’s one-time infusion would super-charge an agency that does everything from subsidizing environmentally friendly buildings to helping birth the offshore wind energy industry. Globe Staff,, 26 May 2022 Kids ages birth through grade five can pick up a game board at their library to begin playing. Mary Jane Brewer, cleveland, 23 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective For a friend who loves wine, gift them this wine glass for their first post-birth drink. Jamie Kravitz, Woman's Day, 4 Aug. 2022 Luckily, Martine was coming the next morning for the final pre-birth checkup. Keith Gessen, The New Yorker, 6 June 2022 The babies' early arrival meant the Myers did not complete Michigan's requisite pre-birth order process in time, forcing them, because of the state's restrictive laws around surrogacy, to fight in court to legally be the twins' parents. Rachel Burchfield,, 22 Dec. 2021 And those post-birth emotions can impact spouses and partners as well: Around 26% of spouses experience some sort of depression after the baby’s arrival. Ebony Williams, ajc, 12 May 2022 The idea that women cannot have any arena of choice — [from pregnancy to labor and delivery to post-birth] — is exclusively and almost always detrimental to women. The Salt Lake Tribune, 17 Dec. 2021 Over 75 couples in Michigan who are in our exact same situation [received] pre-birth orders, which basically gives them legal rights to the baby before they're even born. Rachel Burchfield,, 18 Nov. 2021 As Wishnowsky, 29, recounted his life-changing weekend Thursday, he was asked if Shanahan exaggerated his pre-birth nerves for effect. Eric Branch, San Francisco Chronicle, 5 Nov. 2021 Another program, Ramp Back, gives new parents the flexibility to work partial work hours for eight consecutive weeks post-birth or adoption. Patrick Moorhead, Forbes, 4 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of birth


12th 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 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near birth



birth/biological parent

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Statistics for birth

Last Updated

13 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Birth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for birth


\ 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


transitive verb

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

More from Merriam-Webster on birth

Nglish: Translation of birth for Spanish Speakers

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


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