birth defect


Definition of birth defect 

: a physical or biochemical defect that is present at birth and may be inherited or environmentally induced

Examples of birth defect in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Initial exams indicate the cub suffered from severe birth defects, including a cleft palate, according to the zoo. David Caraccio, sacbee, "Meet the new snow leopard just born at Sacramento Zoo | The Sacramento Bee," 15 May 2018 Zika, for which there is no vaccine, can cause birth defects, fever, rash and headaches. Sean Rossman, USA TODAY, "Tick, mosquito, flea illnesses have tripled and the U.S. isn't fully prepared, CDC says," 2 May 2018 At least 10 percent of babies born to women infected with the Zika virus have been diagnosed with visible birth defects, federal researchers found. NBC News, "What is the Zika virus? What you need to know," 27 Apr. 2018 The habit is linked to health issues for both women and their infants, including low birthweight, preterm births and birth defects. Alexandra Sifferlin, Time, "1 in 14 Women Smokes While Pregnant, CDC Says," 28 Feb. 2018 Many children exposed to radiation in the womb would develop birth defects, particularly small heads and mental disabilities. Daily Intelligencer, "This Is What a Nuclear Bomb Looks Like," 12 June 2018 Shane, who was diagnosed with anencephaly, a birth defect that causes part of the brain and skull to be missing, died shortly after he was born on October 9. Kelly Potts, Woman's Day, "'Bucket List' Baby's Parents Share Heartwarming Video," 11 Nov. 2014 Veterans, and some scientists who have done research on the issue, suspect there is a link between a veteran's AO exposure and the birth defects and certain medical conditions of their children. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "For Veteran John Kirchner, It's 40 Years And Counting," 11 June 2018 Plastic surgery was for the rich and famous or people who needed it to repair birth defects or injuries, or to mitigate the symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder. Laura Jean Baker,, "When a 'natural' mother considers plastic surgery," 29 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'birth defect.' 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 defect

1864, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for birth defect

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for birth defect

The first known use of birth defect was in 1864

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More Definitions for birth defect

birth defect


Kids Definition of birth defect

: a physical defect that a person is born with and that may be inherited or caused by something in the environment

birth defect


Medical Definition of birth defect 

: a physical or biochemical defect (as cleft palate, phenylketonuria, or Down syndrome) that is present at birth and may be inherited or environmentally induced

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