ges·​ta·​tion | \ je-ˈstā-shən How to pronounce gestation (audio) \

Definition of gestation

1 : the carrying of young in the uterus (see uterus sense 1) : pregnancy
2 : conception (see conception sense 3) and development especially in the mind

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Other Words from gestation

gestational \ je-​ˈstā-​shnəl How to pronounce gestational (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of gestation in a Sentence

the gestation of new ideas The book has been in gestation for a long time.
Recent Examples on the Web Britain, and Wales in particular, grows lamb at a relatively natural pace, with ewes coming into estrus just once a year, to be mated with rams in the fields, to give birth in the spring, after five months gestation. Washington Post, "Boris Johnson’s no-deal Brexit could lead British lambs to slaughter," 17 Aug. 2019 The economic burden of stillbirths — deaths after 20-weeks gestation affecting nearly 1 percent of deliveries — often goes unnoticed. Joni Hess, Vox, "From diagnostics to autopsy to burial, stillbirths are alarmingly expensive in America," 30 July 2019 In 2017, 9,109 abortions – 43.6 percent of all abortions in the state – occurred after nine weeks gestation, according to Ohio Department of Health records. Jackie Borchardt,, "Federal judge blocks Ohio's 'heartbeat bill' abortion ban," 10 Apr. 2019 Mikki gave birth on Aug 2 after a 22-month gestation period. USA TODAY, "Rare elephant calf, two-headed rattlesnake, another quake off Oregon: News from around our 50 states," 6 Sep. 2019 At six years old, Meng Meng carried her babies for a gestation period of 147 days before giving birth. Georgia Slater,, "Berlin Zoo Panda Expecting 1 Cub Delivers Twins, Marking First Zoo Panda Birth in Germany," 4 Sep. 2019 Mei Xiang, who has had numerous false pregnancies in past years, was artificially inseminated in March and is near the end of her 90- to 185-day gestation period. Michael E. Ruane, Washington Post, "As a panda era closes, Bei Bei gets a checkup and ‘signs’ some keepsakes," 4 Sep. 2019 The twins’ mother, Meng Meng, did not show reliable signs of gestation until late in the pregnancy, zoo officials said, which is typical for pandas. New York Times, "At Berlin Zoo, a Clamor to Name Twin Pandas ‘Hong’ and ‘Kong’," 6 Sep. 2019 The clinic offers only nonsurgical abortions, up to 10 weeks of gestation. Angie Leventis Lourgos,, "South Bend at center of abortion debate as unlicensed clinic supported by Mayor Pete Buttigieg is allowed to open via court injunction," 6 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gestation.' 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 gestation

1615, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for gestation

Latin gestation-, gestatio, from gestare to bear, frequentative of gerere to bear

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Time Traveler for gestation

Time Traveler

The first known use of gestation was in 1615

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Statistics for gestation

Last Updated

24 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Gestation.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 7 December 2019.

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More Definitions for gestation


How to pronounce gestation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of gestation

: the time when a person or animal is developing inside its mother before it is born also : the process of development that happens during this time
: the process by which something (such as an idea) forms and develops


ges·​ta·​tion | \ je-ˈstā-shən How to pronounce gestation (audio) \

Medical Definition of gestation

1 : the carrying of young in the uterus from conception to delivery : pregnancy

Other Words from gestation

gestational \ -​shnəl, -​shən-​ᵊl How to pronounce gestational (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on gestation

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