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

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Being able to use these maps and brochures to see the birth and evolution of the National Park Service is amazing. Anne Quito, Quartzy, "A new book celebrates the graphic design legacy of US national parks," 9 Sep. 2019 Leslie Jamison | The Atlantic | August 21, 2019 | 22 minutes (5,711 words) A memoir of giving birth after years with an eating disorder. Longreads, "The Top 5 Longreads of the Week," 24 Aug. 2019 Then, the very next day, as Moyseenko processed his promotion, his wife gave birth to a son, the couple’s second child. Alex Putterman,, "Eventful offseason leaves many UConn coaches adjusting to new roles," 23 Aug. 2019 According to this theory, nomadic tribes migrated from Central Asia around 1500 BC to the subcontinent, absorbing the advanced, dark-skinned Dravidian inhabitants and giving birth to an Indus or Vedic culture. Vikram Sampath, Quartz India, "The father of Hindutva believed Aryans migrated to India," 20 Aug. 2019 Three to 4 years after the women gave birth, researchers gave their children an age-appropriate IQ test. Michael Price, Science | AAAS, "Drinking fluoridated water during pregnancy may lower IQ in sons, controversial study says," 19 Aug. 2019 The time between feeling an overwhelming urge to push and our daughter’s birth was around 30 minutes. Joni Hess, Vox, "From diagnostics to autopsy to burial, stillbirths are alarmingly expensive in America," 30 July 2019 The team also acquired a 2-day-old dragon that had died soon after birth. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Komodo Dragons Have Skin That Looks Like Chain Mail," 17 Sep. 2019 Defender Zarek Valentin also missed Sunday’s game to spend time with his family after the birth of his son Saturday. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "Portland Timbers concede own goal in 1-0 loss to D.C. United," 15 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb PREGAME The Broncos were birthed on an East Coast swing, topping the Patriots in Boston, 13-10, in the first-ever AFL game. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, "Denver Broncos home openers turn 60: Different time, same love affair," 15 Sep. 2019 But not everyone is so sanguine about the business of birthing on camera. Los Angeles Times, "One more big push, then just say cheese!: High-end photographers enter delivery rooms," 16 Aug. 2019 Chifunyise was an arts aficionado and co-founder of several arts organizations, including the Children's Performing Arts Workshop, which has birthed world-class stars, including Hollywood actress Danai Gurira. Anita Patrick, CNN, "Tributes pour in for Zimbabwean playwright Stephen Chifunyise," 6 Aug. 2019 Colorado has also birthed a number of nationally touring jam bands, such as The String Cheese Incident, Leftover Salmon, The Samples, Yonder Mountain String Band and The Motet. John Wenzel, The Know, "Are we just high, or is Colorado the No. 1 market for jam bands?," 9 Sep. 2019 If that happens, the Chinese government will have birthed a new global automotive era. Fortune, "Electric Car Gold Rush: The Auto Industry Charges Into China," 20 Aug. 2019 The still relatively young VC industry has birthed some of the greatest innovations of our time, including iconic companies like Apple, Tesla, and Google. Aimee Groth, Quartz, "Andrew Yang’s basic income plan permits Americans to fail. And that’s a good thing," 20 Aug. 2019 Trèfle Hailing from the British Virgin Islands, Kristin Frazer birthed her company Trèfle in 2008. Ashley Rushford, Essence, "ESSENCE Best In Black Fashion Awards: Meet These International Designers On The Rise," 4 Sep. 2019 The event also birthed a collaboration with actress Kristen Adele that led to their Artists of Color meet-ups, now in its second year. Lisa Kennedy, The Know, "The latest album from Denver singer-songwriter Such is a sultry soul journey," 17 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Starbucks, for instance, last year sweetened the deal for its store employees, offering six weeks paid leave for all parents, not just birth mothers. Michelle Cheng, Quartz at Work, "Target is expanding parental leave, including for hourly and part-time workers," 10 June 2019

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

26 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for birth

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

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More Definitions for birth


How to pronounce birth (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for birth

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


an agreement to stop fighting a war

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