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

The idea that something as innocuous as a mosquito bite could cause severe birth defects, is nothing short of terrifying. Macaela Mackenzie, Glamour, "Rift Valley Fever Could Be the Next Global Health Crisis For Pregnant Women," 10 Jan. 2019 Oksana Masters is a double amputee, the result of birth defects likely caused by the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "It's a big week for Olympic athletes from Kentucky returning home," 6 July 2018 Penzias points to a large 2012 study in the New England Journal of Medicine that found a higher risk of birth defects in babies born to couples with a history of infertility, regardless of whether the babies were conceived naturally or with IVF. Fox News, "IVF kids may have higher risk of high blood pressure," 6 Sep. 2018 Eco-Dry-Clean About 85 percent of dry cleaners use a chemical called perchloroethylene (perc for short) that’s linked to respiratory issues, birth defects, and air pollution. Lindsay Talbot, Marie Claire, "Your Everything Guide to a Sustainable Closet," 19 July 2018 There’s concern that taking antipsychotics during pregnancy can cause birth defects, especially during the first trimester and if taken in addition to other drugs, according to the NIMH. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "9 Things You Should Know About Taking Antipsychotic Drugs," 7 Dec. 2018 Folic acid can help prevent the devastating birth defect. Jonel Aleccia, The Seattle Times, "FDA allows food makers to fortify corn masa to halt birth defects, but few do," 16 Oct. 2018 Proposition 65 was adopted in 1986 as a means to protect residents from exposure to chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm, particularly those that may taint drinking water. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "After coffee brewhaha, CA fears cancer warnings have “gone seriously wrong”," 16 Aug. 2018 For children between ages 1 and 4, only birth defects cause more deaths than unintentional drowning. Gina Martinez, Time, "Drowning Is the No. 2 Cause of Death for Young Children. Here's How to Keep Your Kids Safe Around Pools," 13 June 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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Last Updated

16 Jan 2019

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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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with birth defect

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