na·​tiv·​i·​ty | \ nə-ˈti-və-tē How to pronounce nativity (audio) , nā- \
plural nativities

Definition of nativity

1 : the process or circumstances of being born : birth especially, capitalized : the birth of Jesus
2 : a horoscope at or of the time of one's birth
3 : the place of origin

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Synonyms for nativity


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Nativity is one of many words born of the Latin verb nasci, which means "to be born." The gestation of the word was a long one. "Nasci" developed in Latin into nativitas, meaning "birth," which passed through Middle French as nativité before entering English in the 14th century. "Nativity" has many siblings and cousins in our language; other terms of the lineage of "nasci" include "cognate," "innate," "nascent," "native," and "renaissance."

Examples of nativity in a Sentence

my father and grandparents were proud observers of my nativity
Recent Examples on the Web The group has also challenged the Affordable Care Act, attempted to reverse gay conversion therapy bans and supported lawsuits maintaining religious monuments and nativity scenes. NBC News, 5 Sep. 2021 Its first nativity is celebrated on the Fourth of July. Randall Fuller, WSJ, 20 Aug. 2021 Anyone who has lived with a cat—or who enjoys seasonal photos of cats that have installed themselves in a holiday nativity scene—is familiar with the self-assuredness of an animal that cannot comprehend imposter syndrome. Sarah Archer, The Atlantic, 21 July 2021 Carol Kinderknecht, 71, owns the Christmas Castles store in Quinter, selling nativity scenes, plastic angels and gingerbread houses. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, 13 Dec. 2020 Peters bought the ark in 2010 and a team of 50 expert craftsmen took five months to create the museum, with wooden sculptures depicting Bible stories including Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel and the nativity. Fox News, 11 June 2021 Study after study shows Christian nationalism is strongly associated with attitudes concerning proper social hierarchies by religion, race, and nativity. Time, 27 May 2021 And the technical complexities of migration are only one of the challenges an organization will face on their journey to cloud nativity. Forbes, 1 June 2021 Acting started for me with nativity plays and reciting verses in chapel. Marc Myers, WSJ, 18 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nativity.' 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 nativity

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nativity

Middle English nativite, from Anglo-French nativité, from Medieval Latin nativitat-, nativitas, from Late Latin, birth, from Latin nativus

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

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nativity play

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Last Updated

9 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nativity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for nativity


Na·​tiv·​i·​ty | \ nə-ˈti-və-tē \
plural Nativities

Kids Definition of Nativity

: the birth of Jesus Christ a Nativity scene

More from Merriam-Webster on nativity

Nglish: Translation of nativity for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about nativity


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