couvade

noun

cou·​vade kü-ˈväd How to pronounce couvade (audio)
: a custom in some cultures in which when a child is born the father takes to bed as if bearing the child and submits himself to fasting, purification, or taboos

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Brennan thinks hormonal study could be the most fruitful research area for trying to explain couvade. Ariel Ramchandani, The Atlantic, 3 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'couvade.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

French, from Middle French, cowardly inactivity, from cover to sit on, brood over — more at covey

First Known Use

1865, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of couvade was in 1865

Dictionary Entries Near couvade

Cite this Entry

“Couvade.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/couvade. Accessed 6 Dec. 2022.

Medical Definition

couvade

noun

cou·​vade kü-ˈväd How to pronounce couvade (audio)
1
: a custom in some cultures in which when a child is born the father takes to bed as if bearing the child and submits himself to fasting, purification, or taboos
2

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