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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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 The fundraisers will help build a new stand for the Town of Bethlehem nativity scene and recondition the lights along the outdoor Way of the Cross. cleveland, "Student art displays draw huge crowds: Olmsted Dates and Data," 5 June 2020 The parish’s Vine and the Branches Bethlehem Committee is sponsoring the plant sale as a fundraiser for a new stand and expanded scenery for the church’s Town of Bethlehem nativity scene. cleveland, "David Fortier Park becomes a walking storybook: Olmsted Dates and Data," 23 May 2020 The West Chester Presbyterian Church will have a display of nativity sets at the church, 8930 Cincinnati-Dayton Road. Sue Kiesewetter,, "West Chester will honor veterans at 30th Christmas Walk on Saturday," 6 Dec. 2019 Holiday decor ranges from stockings, tree skirts and table runners made of red felt and covered in snowball-like white poms, snowflake ornaments or cute little mice that make up a trio of angles or nativity set. Diane Cowen, Houston Chronicle, "Houston shoppers get new Wisteria store Nov. 1," 15 Oct. 2019 Francis unveiled a statue of the newborn Jesus lying in a nativity scene at the foot of the altar Tuesday. USA TODAY, "Pope calls for kindness to migrants, unconditional love in Christmas speeches," 25 Dec. 2019 The soft blue house in West Grove Village offers the real sense of Christmas with angels and a nativity scene. cleveland, "A ride around town reveals the holiday spirit: Olmsted Dates and Data," 23 Dec. 2019 After an hour-long zany, bilingual performance of La Pastorela at the Woodlawn Pointe Auditorium on a recent evening, actors with Teatro Audaz gathered on stage for a final nativity scene — the holiday spirit in full effect. Diego Mendoza-moyers,, "Teatro Audaz celebrates community, Latino heritage in on-stage performance," 22 Dec. 2019 Elsewhere in the country, a nativity scene built by a far-right mayor constitutes provocative identity politics. The Economist, "France’s complicated relationship with Christmas," 18 Dec. 2019

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

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

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Cite this Entry

“Nativity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2020.

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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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