na·tiv·i·ty | \nə-ˈti-və-tē, 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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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

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 The star over the nativity manger boasts 10,000 white lights. Sonja Haller, azcentral, "Ultimate Arizona bucket list: 25 things to do in Mesa," 18 Feb. 2015 Ruby) is the smart negotiator of the group who wants to be seen as a man, but his ideas of manhood don't square with the reality of sharing a room with his abuela, her light-up nativity scenes and Our Lady of Guadalupe collection. Lorraine Ali,, "Netflix’s 'On My Block' continues the recent wave that treats teens of color as more than just sidekicks," 15 Mar. 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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Phrases Related to nativity

the Nativity

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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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