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

In the study, a preterm birth was defined as a live birth before 37 weeks' gestation, and the researchers took a close look at how many of those births occurred among mothers who identified themselves as Hispanic on their child's birth certificate. Jacqueline Howard, CNN, "A rise in premature births among Latina women may be linked to Trump's election, study says," 19 July 2019 The meta-analysis included data from more than 4 million participants who were born preterm (under 37 weeks gestation) and with low birth weight. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "Does premature birth impact a baby's love life in adulthood? New study says yes," 12 July 2019 Paounov’s approach is fly-on-wall, drawn from 700 hours of footage provided by Christo of the project’s gestation as well as some original footage shot by the filmmaker. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Observing Christo’s balancing act in ‘Walking on Water’," 11 July 2019 The pills work to end a pregnancy about 95 percent of the time if taken before 10 weeks’ gestation, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research organization. Anna North, Vox, "A boom in at-home abortions is coming," 9 July 2019 Among all apes, humans have one of the most energy-taxing pregnancies due to a combination of the length of gestation and the size of our babies. Daniel Wolfe, Quartz, "Pregnancy pushes the body nearly as much as extreme endurance sports," 6 June 2019 Further research might even challenge the rules requiring ultrasound verification of gestation time. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "Telemedicine Makes It Safe to Get Abortion Drugs in the Mail," 5 June 2019 The embryo is then placed into a surrogate for gestation. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "State of Science: Are the First Primate Clones Just the Beginning?," 1 Jan. 2019 Those that were normal size had very few human cells after a month of gestation. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "Embryo experiments take ‘baby steps’ toward growing human organs in livestock," 26 June 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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Dictionary Entries near gestation

Gestalt psychology







Statistics for gestation

Last Updated

4 Aug 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).


not constant or steady

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