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 process can kick up coal dust and send heavy metals into waterways, and studies have suggested links to health problems like kidney disease and birth defects., "WASHINGTON — In just three years, the Trump administration has diminished the role of science in federal policymaking while halting or disrupting research projects nationwide, marking a transformation of the federal government whose effects, experts said, could reverberate for years.," 29 Dec. 2019 His scheme, however, increased both child mortality as well as the number of children suffering from birth defects. Washington Post, "Romania confronts ugly past involving abusive orphanages," 20 Dec. 2019 However, because of the potential side effects (which include birth defects), it’s usually saved for only the most severe cases of acne or after other retinoids have failed to help. Megan L. Wood, SELF, "The 7 Products That Legitimately Changed My World When My Skin was a Dry, Red, Flaky Mess on Isotretinoin," 26 Nov. 2019 In 1962, a scare over birth defects caused by thalidomide led to groundbreaking standards for clinical trials. Joshua M. Sharfstein, STAT, "Why the FDA was unable to prevent a crisis of vaping among kids," 21 Nov. 2019 In this case, the researchers could sift through any studies with data on birth defects that also included data on various lifestyle factors of the babies’ parents. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Researchers completely made up claim about men’s drinking before conception," 8 Oct. 2019 Juul e-cigarettes, which start from around $35 for a device, contain a high level of nicotine, a highly addictive substance that can disrupt sleep patterns, affect moods and cause birth defects among pregnant smokers. Paul Takahashi, Houston Chronicle, "Walmart to stop selling e-cigarettes amid vaping-related deaths," 20 Sep. 2019 The children are more likely to have a low birth weight, to be born prematurely and to have some birth defects, earlier studies have shown. Jen Christensen, CNN, "Study links frozen embryo transfer to higher childhood cancer risk," 10 Dec. 2019 Studies suggest that drinking water with elevated levels of nitrate over a sustained period can cause birth defects, thyroid problems and colon cancer. Lee Bergquist, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "DNR pushes ahead with plans for stricter farming practices to fight nitrate pollution," 10 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for birth defect

Time Traveler

The first known use of birth defect was in 1864

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Statistics for birth defect

Last Updated

1 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Birth defect.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on birth defect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with birth defect

Comments on birth defect

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