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

Examples of couvade in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The term couvade first appeared in a book by a British anthropologist, Edward Burnett Tylor, in 1865. Ariel Ramchandani, The Atlantic, 3 June 2021 A lot of fringe theories have been put forward to explain couvade. Ariel Ramchandani, The Atlantic, 3 June 2021 Brennan thinks hormonal study could be the most fruitful research area for trying to explain couvade. Ariel Ramchandani, The Atlantic, 3 June 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'couvade.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 27 May. 2024.

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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