pre·​term | \ (ˌ)prē-ˈtərm How to pronounce preterm (audio) , ˈprē-ˌtərm \

Definition of preterm

: of, relating to, being, or brought forth by premature birth a preterm infant preterm labor

Examples of preterm in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Those who received counseling were less than half as likely to have very preterm babies, said Ayman El-Mohandes, a professor of pediatrics and epidemiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center who conducted the study. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 23 Aug. 2021 Covid-19 also increases the risk of a preterm birth and may cause other adverse pregnancy outcomes, studies have shown. Jen Christensen, CNN, 30 July 2021 Several pregnant women with severe COVID have needed an emergency C-section for a preterm delivery at AdventHealth. Caroline Catherman,, 30 July 2021 The biggest decline has been in preterm deaths, which is the greatest cause of infant mortality here. Terry Demio, The Enquirer, 29 June 2021 The next day, Bush's doctor placed a cerclage in her uterus; a cerclage is a stitch or synthetic tape that reinforces the cervix to prevent miscarriage and preterm delivery. Colleen Murphy,, 7 May 2021 The hospital patient database has gaps that complicated any analysis of extremely preterm babies’ outcomes. Bryant Furlow, ProPublica, 5 Apr. 2021 Goodman has studied dozens of U.S. hospitals’ track records in caring for extremely preterm babies. Bryant Furlow, ProPublica, 31 Mar. 2021 Pregnant women are at higher risk of a severe case of Covid-19 and of preterm delivery if they are infected. Sarah Toy, WSJ, 31 Mar. 2021

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

1928, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of preterm was in 1928

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Last Updated

1 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Preterm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for preterm


pre·​term | \ -ˈtərm How to pronounce preterm (audio) \

Medical Definition of preterm

: of, relating to, being, or born by premature birth preterm infants a preterm delivery preterm labor


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