mid·wife | \ˈmid-ˌwīf \

Definition of midwife 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person who assists women in childbirth — compare nurse-midwife

2 : one that helps to produce or bring forth something


midwifed\-ˌwīft \ or midwived\-ˌwīvd \; midwifing\-ˌwī-fiŋ \ or midwiving\-ˌwī-viŋ \

Definition of midwife (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to assist in producing, bringing forth, or bringing about

Examples of midwife in a Sentence


a trained and certified midwife

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

She even was invited to the White House by first lady Melania Trump in May. 8-year-old girl helps mom deliver baby A Gilbert girl who wants to become a midwife was determined to participate in the birth of her sister. Garrett Mitchell, azcentral, "Five feel-good Arizona stories that have gone viral in 2018 (so far)," 10 July 2018 Just had 2 typically wonderful @NHSEnglandLDN midwives visit my pregnant wife & I for a home birth assessment. Kevin Slane, BostonGlobe.com, "Five months after young son’s death, Marblehead native Rob Delaney reveals his wife is pregnant," 2 July 2018 Amid a host of lawmakers, academics and ob-gyns, a single midwife is listed as a member, and there are no doulas or recognizable names of leaders of grassroots reproductive justice organizations. Danielle Jackson, Longreads, "A Frustrating Year of Reporting on Black Maternal Health," 14 June 2018 One of the rising fourth generation of Yohs works in the D&Z IT group; another is at Comcast; a third plans to be a midwife. Joseph N. Distefano, Philly.com, "At Day & Zimmermann, Spike Yoh's sons prep a rising generation," 9 Mar. 2018 Ironic, low-boil events ensue involving Marlina’s twisty bus trip to the police station, the travails of Marlina’s pregnant neighbor (Dea Panendra), misogynistic men and Marlina’s pivot to impromptu midwife. Gary Goldstein, latimes.com, "Review: Episodic Indonesian thriller 'Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts' simmers and bedevils," 5 July 2018 Lisa felt cared-for by the midwives, too, who kept her number in their cellphones and inquired not only about physical symptoms but about her emotional state. Anndee Hochman, Philly.com, "The Parent Trip: Lisa and Chris Rogers of Oreland," 16 Jan. 2018 Its centerpiece will be a statue of Knowles, a midwife to many blacks in Deerfield and beyond who were born at home before Jim Crow laws ended. Anne Geggis, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Once forgotten, 'Old Colored Cemetery' turns into a place of honor," 23 June 2018 My midwife told me to come in as planned, but pack a bag just in case. The Cut, The Cut, "The Adopted Mom Who Cherishes Her Biological Daughter," 21 June 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1638, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for midwife


Middle English midwif, from mid with (from Old English) + wif woman

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Statistics for midwife

Last Updated

22 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for midwife

The first known use of midwife was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for midwife



English Language Learners Definition of midwife

: a person (usually a woman) who helps a woman when she is giving birth to a child


mid·wife | \ˈmid-ˌwīf \
plural midwives

Kids Definition of midwife

: a woman who helps other women during childbirth


mid·wife | \ˈmid-ˌwīf \

Medical Definition of midwife 

: a person who assists women in childbirth — see nurse-midwife

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More from Merriam-Webster on midwife

See words that rhyme with midwife

Spanish Central: Translation of midwife

Nglish: Translation of midwife for Spanish Speakers

Comments on midwife

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


one that holds something together

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