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


birth, geniture

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Did You Know?

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

German Christmas pyramids are also made of the material; they're decorated with figurines from a nativity scene, and a spinning roter at the top is fueled by the rising heat of burning candles, which are placed along the bottom. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Touring Germany’s Most Festive Christmas Markets," 18 Dec. 2018 Choose from nativity scenes, Santa and his reindeer, and a number of other cheery characters. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Here's Your First Look at The Home Depot's Best New Christmas Decorations," 14 Oct. 2018 In October 1969, two thieves wielding razor blades removed a Caravaggio nativity scene from its frame above the altar of a Sicilian oratory. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "New Clues Emerge in Search for Stolen Caravaggio," 5 June 2018 This took about a month, once both sets of grandparents and their ability to care for my older child had come and gone, and once the novelty of our little nativity scene had begun to wear. Laura Goode, Glamour, "I Hated Breastfeeding—So I Quit," 22 May 2018 Statue found 2 years after theft A statue of the Virgin Mary stolen from a Vermont nativity seen more than two years ago has been found undamaged and returned to its owner., "New England news in brief," 19 May 2018 Animals escape from zoos, farms, laboratories, and even odder locales, such as nativity scenes or assisted-living facilities, all the time. Longreads, "Wild At Heart," 17 May 2018 On a credenza is a collection of Columbian Santos, painted figures that were part of a nativity scene that Hoksch believes to be from the 1800s. Kadee Krieger,, "Shotgun House Tour opens the doors to eclectic beauties in Algiers Point," 9 May 2018 The intricate headpiece was a Neapolitan nativity altar made to scale by the Italian design house. Nicole Evat And John Carucci,, "Holy haute couture: Divine designs grace carpet at Met Gala," 8 May 2018

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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Time Traveler for nativity

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on nativity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nativity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nativity

Spanish Central: Translation of nativity

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

Comments on nativity

What made you want to look up nativity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move or obtain by small maneuvers

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