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


family way, gestation, gravidity

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Examples of pregnancy in a Sentence

an elephant's pregnancy can last almost a year

Recent Examples on the Web

The measure, set to go into effect January 1, would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can be as early as six weeks into pregnancy. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "Ariana Grande donates Atlanta concert proceeds to Planned Parenthood," 12 June 2019 That's because for years, U.S. Soccer treated pregnancy as a career-ending injury and didn't develop a maternity-leave policy, under pressure from players, until contentious contract talks in 1999. Liz Clarke, Anchorage Daily News, "U.S. women’s soccer team is fighting two battles — for a World Cup title, and for equality," 11 June 2019 Alabama doesn’t really know how many women die from pregnancy or childbirth complications. Anna Claire Vollers |,, "These volunteers teamed up to investigate deaths of moms in Alabama," 11 June 2019 Still, a pregnancy with Montand could still be a issue, if only because out-of-wedlock births were much frowned in the early 1960s. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, "Did Marilyn Monroe get pregnant during secret affair with French co-star?," 10 June 2019 Women from various backgrounds sought to end unwanted pregnancies before and during this period both in the U.S. and across the world. Treva B Lindsey, The Conversation, "A concise history of the US abortion debate," 10 June 2019 My youthful faith in those frameworks of intellectual and professional agency has cracked under the pressures of childcare, second and third shifts, glass ceilings, workplace pregnancy discrimination, and all the rest. Sarah Blackwood, The New Yorker, "The Secret Rebellion of Amelia Bedelia, the Bartleby of Domestic Work," 10 June 2019 Putting off a pregnancy termination to save money can also create additional problems for women. Tara Law, Time, "Joe Biden Dropped His Support for the Hyde Amendment. Here's How It Became a Flashpoint on Abortion," 7 June 2019 For many women and womb-owners, pregnancy is a beautiful, deeply rewarding experience, in spite of or even because of its physical sacrifices. Liv Mcconnell, Teen Vogue, "I Was 21 The First Time I Asked to Have My Tubes Tied," 19 Apr. 2019

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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Statistics for pregnancy

Last Updated

15 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for pregnancy

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

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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

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


to take the place or position of

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