mid·​wife | \ ˈmid-ˌwīf How to pronounce midwife (audio) \

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

Definition of midwife (Entry 2 of 2)

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: Noun The legendary soul singer is also a doula and now a certified midwife who helps guide pregnant moms through a safe delivery. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Erykah Badu Will Be The Midwife For This Pregnant Celebrity Mom," 26 June 2020 Cockrell is a licensed midwife (LM) in Texas and New Mexico and a CPM. Popular Science, "Traveling midwives fill crucial health care gaps in rural US states," 25 June 2020 The level of demand varies based on where the midwife is located, says Sarita Bennett, president of the Midwives Alliance of North America. Gareth Henderson, The Christian Science Monitor, "As coronavirus lingers, home births surge. How midwives are adapting.," 17 June 2020 The midwife is afraid to deliver babies, and expectant mothers are scared to go near her. Danielle Paquette, Washington Post, "The global child mortality rate could rise for the first time in more than 60 years, experts warn," 13 May 2020 But when other worried moms-to-be came calling, the midwife passed. Nina Martin, ProPublica, "What Coronavirus Means for Pregnancy and Other Things New and Expecting Mothers Should Know," 19 Mar. 2020 Now many regret their participation, like the midwife who performed thousands of involuntary sterilizations. Peter Keough, BostonGlobe.com, "When the state mandates family planning," 15 Aug. 2019 Yukhayev credits his mother, who worked as a midwife in her native Azerbaijan, with teaching him to serve others. Anchorage Daily News, "Guides to the other side: Here are some of the people working to get us through pandemic desolation," 20 May 2020 In November 2019, the Duchess of Cambridge also went so far as to secretly shadow a team of midwives for two days at Kingston NHS Hospital in South West London, to learn more about their work and children’s early years of development. Phil Boucher, PEOPLE.com, "Kate Middleton Thanks Women's Health Experts for Their 'Crucial' Work in Personal Letter," 4 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In recent days, amid a rising impeachment furor, the White House has scrambled to midwife a compromise between ethanol advocates and the oil industry. Washington Post, "Farm-state fury creates pressure for Trump as trade, energy pain collide," 1 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for midwife

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for midwife

Last Updated

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Midwife.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/midwife. Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for midwife


How to pronounce midwife (audio)

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 How to pronounce midwife (audio) \
plural midwives

Kids Definition of midwife

: a woman who helps other women during childbirth


mid·​wife | \ ˈmid-ˌwīf How to pronounce midwife (audio) \

Medical Definition of midwife

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on midwife

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for midwife

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with midwife

Spanish Central: Translation of midwife

Nglish: Translation of midwife for Spanish Speakers

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