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

Clements ran to get the midwife, who found that Cerys did not have a pulse. Julie Mazziotta, PEOPLE.com, "British Parents Sue NHS After Newborn Nearly Suffocated During First Breastfeeding," 29 June 2018 Check out the video above to find out how midwives have been at the center of a culture war that’s deeply rooted in race and class in America. Ranjani Chakraborty, Vox, "The culture war between midwives and doctors, explained," 29 May 2018 During her exam, the midwife found a broken stick lodged in the girl’s uterus. Susannah Savage, Washington Post, "‘A lot of shame’: Rohingya camps brace for wave of babies conceived in rape," 22 May 2018 The majority of North Carolina's nurse midwives work in hospitals. Anna Douglas And John Murawski, charlotteobserver, "Some NC moms drive an hour away to give birth. Are midwives the answer? | Charlotte Observer," 17 May 2018 Instead, cabin crew will act as ad hoc midwives as the plane speeds to its original destination. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "What Happens to Babies Born on Planes," 26 Oct. 2018 Women and children sleep below deck, watched over by a midwife, while the men sleep on the open deck, covered only with tarpaulin. CNN, "'Exhausted' migrants on rescue ship face four-day journey to Spain," 12 June 2018 Moreover, where a midwife focuses on both mother and child, a doula’s primary role is to support a laboring mother and partner throughout the process. Mariko Zapf, Good Housekeeping, "I Had A Successful Vaginal Birth After A Cesarean (VBAC)—Here's What You Need To Know," 16 Nov. 2017 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

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

1 Dec 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with midwife

Spanish Central: Translation of midwife

Nglish: Translation of midwife for Spanish Speakers

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