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 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) \

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 My fiancée doesn’t want to be the one to inject the semen, so the midwife does her thing. refinery29.com, 1 June 2021 And, when the paramedics came, and checked us out, and the midwife finally got there. Victoria Uwumarogie, Essence, 20 May 2021 Seeking the help of a midwife (Zainab Jah), Lucy tries to find out just how Dr. Hindle complicated her pregnancy. Zoe Haylock, Vulture, 26 May 2021 Low-grade fevers, for example, are quite common among breast-feeding women, my midwife told me for this article. Laura Kusisto, WSJ, 24 May 2021 Like doctors actively ending life, this seems so contrary to the vocation of the midwife. Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review, 17 May 2021 Patricia Loftman, a nurse-midwife, was one of a handful of Black students in her graduating class, in the nineteen-eighties. Sarah Weiser, The New Yorker, 13 May 2021 When Garbellini would ask her midwife questions, there seemed to be no clear answers. cincinnati.com, 7 May 2021 Ugandan community nurse midwife Harriet Nayiga for Nursing Times magazine. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, 5 May 2021 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, 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About midwife

Time Traveler for midwife

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for midwife

Last Updated

12 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Midwife.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/midwife. Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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 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

More from Merriam-Webster on midwife

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for midwife

Nglish: Translation of midwife for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!