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mid·​wife ˈmid-ˌwīf How to pronounce midwife (audio)
: a person who assists women in childbirth compare nurse-midwife
: one that helps to produce or bring forth something


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midwifed ˈmid-ˌwīft How to pronounce midwife (audio) or midwived ˈmid-ˌwīvd How to pronounce midwife (audio) ; midwifing ˈmid-ˌwī-fiŋ How to pronounce midwife (audio) or midwiving ˈmid-ˌwī-viŋ How to pronounce midwife (audio)

transitive verb

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

Examples of midwife in a Sentence

Noun a trained and certified midwife
Recent Examples on the Web
In just one week, the 34-year-old midwife has assisted a displaced mother of two from Gaza with giving birth in a hospital elevator and delivered the baby of a pregnant woman who was brought to the hospital by her neighbor after her entire family was killed in airstrikes. Astha Rajvanshi, TIME, 9 May 2024 The local grower had meant to deliver them the night before, French continued, but being also a midwife, she got called away by another sort of delivery. Kevin West, Travel + Leisure, 5 May 2024 Shortly after, two other midwives were arrested and similarly charged. Addie Morfoot, Variety, 4 May 2024 Every one of us came into the world from a woman’s uterus, as the midwives like to point out. Washington Post, 18 Apr. 2024 When asked about Black midwife or doula recommendations, her heart smiles with pride. Kerane Marcellus, Essence, 16 Apr. 2024 Many employers in recent years have expanded their maternity benefits to cover services like doulas or midwives who improve health outcomes for pregnant people. Paige McGlauflin, Fortune, 3 Apr. 2024 Most Haitian women already deliver babies at home, but midwives lack training to deal with complications. Frances Robles, New York Times, 17 Mar. 2024 The midwives were familiar members of their communities – mothers, sisters, friends, and cousins. Cameron Pugh, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 Apr. 2024
Gottlieb also greatly admired industriousness as a characteristic, Lizzie says; to that end, the man who midwifed the work of Robert Caro and Salman Rushdie also collected 3-D dog posters, obscure Barbie dolls and macramé owls. Richard Barnes, New York Times, 22 Dec. 2023 In retrospect, midwifing Panera’s birth looks like a happy heroic tale of breakthroughs and innovations. Ron Shaich, Fortune, 27 Oct. 2023 Again and again, what seems like uniform storytelling is revealed to be an assemblage of fragments, born from defeat and midwifed by division. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 21 Aug. 2023 Danny DeVito’s character Bruce Davis is likely a nod to Marc Davis, one of the last Imagineers to midwife the Haunted Mansion to completion. Vulture, 31 July 2023 In the period from 2014 to 2019, the United States appeared poised to once again midwife a Kurdish entity, this one under different circumstances and with less far-reaching powers, in Syria. Henri J. Barkey, Foreign Affairs, 16 Oct. 2019 But at the very center of the American Covid experience, amid all the death and suffering and despite the dysfunction that midwifed it into being, sits what would have stood out, in any previous era, as an astonishing biomedical miracle: the coronavirus vaccines. David Wallace-Wells, New York Times, 23 June 2023 And now, The Blob may have helped midwife a record-breaking bloom of algae stretching from Southern California all the way north to Alaska. Tom Yulsman, Discover Magazine, 6 Aug. 2015 The idea of the market as a communion of souls was once the lingua franca of European culture, helping to midwife the birth of economics from the seventeenth to the eighteenth centuries. Corey Robin, The New York Review of Books, 17 Nov. 2022

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

Word History



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

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1638, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near midwife

Cite this Entry

“Midwife.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/midwife. Accessed 18 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a woman who helps other women in childbirth

Medical Definition


mid·​wife ˈmid-ˌwīf How to pronounce midwife (audio)
: a person who assists women in childbirth see nurse-midwife

More from Merriam-Webster on midwife

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