preg·​nan·​cy | \ ˈpreg-nən(t)-sē How to pronounce pregnancy (audio) \
plural pregnancies

Definition of pregnancy

1 : the quality of being pregnant (as in meaning)
2 : the condition of being pregnant : gestation
3 : an instance of being pregnant

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Synonyms for pregnancy


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Examples of pregnancy in a Sentence

an elephant's pregnancy can last almost a year
Recent Examples on the Web In Colorado, infants whose mothers lived near fracking sites during the first few months of pregnancy were up to 1.7 times more likely to be born with congenital heart defects. Chelsea Clinton, STAT, "End fracking exemptions, a threat to maternal and public health," 29 Apr. 2021 Most of the women were diagnosed during their third trimester of pregnancy. Los Angeles Times, "Pregnancy increases risk of COVID-19 complications for women and their babies," 22 Apr. 2021 This preference persists almost until the end of pregnancy. Dina Litovsky, Smithsonian Magazine, "The New Science of Motherhood," 22 Apr. 2021 Texas law currently bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy — or up to 22 weeks from the last menstrual period. Robert T. Garrett, Dallas News, "Matthew McConaughey may be a viable candidate for Texas governor; poll shows actor ahead of Abbott," 18 Apr. 2021 Patches of the placenta continue to carry on these early mutations — a living archive of genetic defects from the first days of pregnancy — while the fetus remains unharmed. Quanta Magazine, "New Genomic Study of Placenta Finds Deep Links to Cancer," 8 Apr. 2021 Some have criticized her for taking part in the sport because of her advanced stage of pregnancy. Nimi Princewill, CNN, "Eight months pregnant athlete clinches Taekwondo gold medal," 7 Apr. 2021 The bill’s sponsor has presented the measure as an effort to decrease the burden of pregnancy on women and increase responsibility for men who have children. NBC News, "Utah fathers now legally required to pay half of pregnancy costs," 6 Apr. 2021 In the same interview, Teigen spoke about the devastating loss of her third child with husband John Legend, Jack, at 20 weeks of pregnancy last September. Emily Dixon, Marie Claire, "Chrissy Teigen Talks Diet Culture: "I've Thrown All of That Out of The Window"," 6 Apr. 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for pregnancy

Time Traveler

The first known use of pregnancy was in the 15th century

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Statistics for pregnancy

Last Updated

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pregnancy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for pregnancy



English Language Learners Definition of pregnancy

: the condition of a woman or female animal that is going to have a baby or babies : the condition of a pregnant woman or female animal


preg·​nan·​cy | \ ˈpreg-nən-sē How to pronounce pregnancy (audio) \
plural pregnancies

Kids Definition of pregnancy

: the state of being pregnant


preg·​nan·​cy | \ ˈpreg-nən-sē How to pronounce pregnancy (audio) \
plural pregnancies

Medical Definition of pregnancy

1 : the condition of being pregnant
2 : an instance of being pregnant

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Comments on pregnancy

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