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\ -​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


a trained and certified midwife

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Trained midwives rarely find government jobs, however, leading many to work with international aid groups. Sam Mednick, The Seattle Times, "In South Sudan, midwives bring down deaths despite the odds," 13 Apr. 2019 The center also aims to become a hub for parents, with midwives referring people for support. Omid Scobie, Harper's BAZAAR, "Duchess Meghan Reveals Baby Secrets as She Brings Magic Touch to Royal Day Out," 14 Jan. 2019 Judith Rooks, a certified nurse midwife and former government epidemiologist, concluded in a medical literature review published in 2011. Marie Mccullough, Philly.com, "Laughing gas makes a comeback for women in labor - like Kate Middleton," 16 May 2018 Terry Jo, who worked as a midwife, had suffered two miscarriages after the birth of her daughters, but the results of her amniocentesis and chromosome testing had come back normal. Shelley Levitt, Woman's Day, "These 4 Inspirational Women Went to Great Lengths for Their Kids," 4 Dec. 2018 The 24-year-old Hauwa Mohammed Liman had been working as a midwife in a hospital supported by the ICRC. Bashir Adigun, The Seattle Times, "IS-linked extremists kill abducted health worker in Nigeria," 16 Oct. 2018 That’s why Eva, a primary care doctor in Boston; Doni, a musician in Brooklyn; and Jo, a midwife in Manhattan, teamed up with their scientist dad to create Sisters Body, a new line of hair and body products. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "This All-Natural Beauty Line by Three Sisters Will Change the Way You Shower," 21 Aug. 2018 Laws vary by state, but in many places NPs, PAs, and midwives can prescribe medication, diagnose infections, and perform checkups. Barbara Brody, Glamour, "The Ob-Gyn Shortage Is Real—And It Might Impact Your Care," 14 Nov. 2018 The past year has seen attacks by Islamic State fighters on a midwife training center, a cricket field and schools in the province. Ehsanullah Amiri, WSJ, "Suicide Bomber Attacks Afghan Election Rally," 2 Oct. 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

23 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for midwife

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

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: 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).


something valued as if it were money

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