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

Synonyms for gestation


family way, gravidity, pregnancy

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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

Indiana's current restrictions on most abortions after 13 weeks of gestation mean that the method accounted for 22 of the 28 abortions performed during weeks 14 through 20 in 2017, all done in hospitals. Tom Davies, Post-Tribune, "Judge questions reasons for Indiana abortion procedure ban," 3 June 2019 Its physical substrate, the thalamo-cortical complex that provides consciousness with its highly elaborate content, begins to be in place between the 24th and 28th week of gestation. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why the Abortion Movie Unplanned Is Factually Incorrect," 16 Apr. 2019 The collaboration between Heath and Artek (which included among its founders Aino and Alvar Aalto, responsible for the original stool and tea trolley design) is the product of an almost two-year gestation. Chloe Schama, Vogue, "Artek’s Famous Finnish Tea Trolley Gets a California Twist From Heath Ceramics," 19 Oct. 2018 The gestation of his ultimate manner accorded in date and in feeling with the catastrophe of the war. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "Giacometti’s Skinny Sublimity," 6 June 2018 The gestation of the project goes right back to about 2011/2012. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Troy: Fall of a City' Producer on Homer, Wooden Horses and Potential for Season 2," 9 Apr. 2018 The Indiana Natality Report shows that 10 percent were born at less than 37 weeks’ gestation and 1.5 percent were considered very low birth weight (VLB). Nancy Coltun Webster, Post-Tribune, "Neonatal units helping young lives for more than 30 years," 27 Apr. 2018 The team has no answers yet, but the additional discovery points to just how little scientists know about shark gestation. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Some Unborn Sharks Swim from Uterus to Uterus Inside Their Mom," 7 Jan. 2019 Rates of premature birth—defined as delivery at less than 37 weeks’ gestation—declined from 2007 to 2014, but increased for the second consecutive year in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Laura Landro, WSJ, "The New, Improved World of Infant Care," 16 Sep. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near gestation

Gestalt psychology







Statistics for gestation

Last Updated

9 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for gestation

The first known use of gestation was in 1615

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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

What made you want to look up gestation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a tendency to relapse

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