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

Certified midwives must complete a graduate-level education certification from the American Midwifery Certification Board. Fox News, "Unlicensed midwife arrested after baby dies following delivery," 8 July 2019 Lintilhac lived and worked in China for 50 years, often as a midwife in remote areas of rural China. courant.com, "Community News For The Windham Edition," 3 July 2019 Call the midwife, and pass the Tylenol, this Grandpa Scott is about to become a dad again. Michael Scott, cleveland.com, "One more time with new feelings: Fatherhood 2.0," 16 June 2019 Each stepped into the dirt circle, said her name, and answered with poise: a nurse, a midwife, a teacher, another nurse, a police officer. David Quammen, National Geographic, "How one of Africa’s great parks is rebounding from war," 12 June 2019 This time, she’s lined up seven people to watch and wait and push through her demurrals and distractions, including her physician and midwife. Nicole Cliffe, SELF, "Alanis Morissette on Pregnancy at 45, Childbirth, Postpartum Depression, and #MeToo," 26 June 2019 Gideon sponsored one of those bills, which will allow nurse practitioners, physician assistants and certified nurse-midwives to perform abortions. Eleanor Watson, CBS News, "National Democrats rally behind Maine lawmaker Sara Gideon's bid to beat Susan Collins," 26 June 2019 In Maine, Democratic governor Janet Mills has signed a bill allowing non-doctors — including nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and midwives — to perform abortions. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 20 June 2019 Whistleblower Workers expose a dangerous scam involving inexperienced midwives overseeing high-risk pregnancies and another scheme involving kickbacks at a mortuary. Ed Stockly, latimes.com, "What's on TV Friday: 'Jett' on Cinemax," 13 June 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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Statistics for midwife

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

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 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

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