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 This second line of evidence comes from the National Vital Statistics System, which records birth and death certificates. Christie Aschwanden, Scientific American, "Debunking the False Claim That COVID Death Counts Are Inflated," 20 Oct. 2020 Oula plans to open a New York prenatal clinic and birth center as well as offer virtual coaching. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, "Chelsea Clinton’s venture capital firm ramps up," 20 Oct. 2020 Add her kids’ names to a stamped disk necklace, or give her a charm stamped with her birth month flower. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, "22 Sentimental Gifts That’ll Help You Make This Christmas Special," 20 Oct. 2020 Though White didn't appear at Pettway's trial, her birth parents gave emotional testimonies at the sentencing. Andrea Park, Marie Claire, "What Happened to Carlina White?," 19 Oct. 2020 Republicans argued that officials in three counties erred by filling in ballot forms with individual voter information, such as the date of birth and residential address, instead of mailing out blank forms. Alexa Corse, WSJ, "Election 2020 Voting Challenges: Early-Voting Waits, Mail Ballots and Court Battles," 19 Oct. 2020 After birth via Cesarean section, the uterus will be removed unless the patient wants another child. al, "Alabama hospital first in region to start uterus transplant program," 19 Oct. 2020 In September, Malik excitedly shared the news of his daughter's birth on Twitter. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik "Can’t Get Enough" of Their New Baby Girl," 18 Oct. 2020 Vitamin D is vital, too, since many women are deficient in vitamin D after pregnancy and birth. Lauren Corona,, "The best postnatal vitamin of 2020," 17 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Subsequent episodes of generational turmoil would birth their own lasting cultural awakenings. Karl Taro Greenfeld, Town & Country, "Are We the Next Lost Generation?," 6 Oct. 2020 Pluto began its retrograde in April, giving us the opportunity to dive deep into our psyches to reveal our shadows and what must be released to birth a new life for ourselves. Tarot Astrologers,, "Daily horoscope for October 4, 2020," 4 Oct. 2020 They are programmed to incubate, birth, and raise human children to rebuild the population and set up an atheist civilization to keep the human race from going extinct. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Review: Raised by Wolves squanders early promise with clumsy, bizarre finale," 2 Oct. 2020 The notorious playboy, who possessed boyish good looks and a proclivity for zooming around town in a Mustang Cobra, was a larger-than-life character who helped birth the rise of the celebrity hairstylist. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Remembering Jay Sebring, Hollywood’s First Celebrity Hairstylist," 22 Sep. 2020 Black families and communities have long been working to make pregnancy and birth safe and joyful experiences. Nina Bahadur, CBS News, "Is COVID-19 making Black birth more complicated?," 10 Aug. 2020 The Dalits endured centuries of abuse and stigma only to birth a potent political movement that transformed India’s civil-rights laws before the denouement of Jim Crow. Hamilton Cain Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Review: 'Caste,' by Isabel Wilkerson," 31 July 2020 Female wolverines, which birth a litter of kits every one to three years, live with their young for about a year. Smithsonian Magazine, "Beasts of the Northern Wild," 10 Mar. 2020 Some studies have linked pesticides in our food to everything from headaches to cancer to birth defects — but many experts maintain that the levels in conventional food are safe for most healthy adults. Jessica Decostole, Redbook, "5 Things You Should Know About Organic Food," 29 Nov. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Non-essential retail reopened in June, followed by pubs and restaurants in July, but tight restrictions have remained in place limiting access to maternity services and post-birth visits by new fathers. The Economist, "Covid-19 is limiting access to maternity services for British fathers," 17 Oct. 2020 These fees typically cover a birth mother’s medical expenses, legal representation for adoptive and birth parents, court fees, social workers and more. David Dodge, New York Times, "What I Spent to Adopt My Child," 11 Feb. 2020 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


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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Learn More about birth

Time Traveler for birth

Time Traveler

The first known use of birth was in the 12th century

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Statistics for birth

Last Updated

23 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Birth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Oct. 2020.

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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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Comments on birth

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