puerperal

adjective

pu·​er·​per·​al pyü-ˈər-p(ə-)rəl How to pronounce puerperal (audio)
: of, relating to, or occurring during childbirth or the period immediately following
puerperal infection
puerperal depression

Examples of puerperal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the 19th century, English and Irish physicians recognized that puerperal sepsis (a dangerous infection in a mother after delivery of a baby) was likely a contagious condition that was spread from patient to patient either by the medical staff or the local environment. Gary Simon, The Atlantic, 28 Mar. 2023 Adolescent mothers reportedly face higher risks of eclampsia, puerperal endometritis, and systemic infections than older women, and babies of adolescent mothers face higher risks of low birth weight, preterm delivery and severe neonatal conditions. Vanessa Etienne, PEOPLE.com, 22 July 2022 Pregnant people ages 10 to 19 face higher risks of eclampsia, puerperal endometritis and systemic infections compared with women ages 20 to 24, according to the World Health Organization. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, 14 July 2022 Later in his career, Knowlton helped figure out what caused puerperal fever, write Baumrin, Cobett and Kulkarni, advancing women's health. Kat Eschner, Smithsonian, 10 May 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'puerperal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Latin puerpera woman in childbirth, from puer child + parere to give birth to — more at pare

First Known Use

1716, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of puerperal was in 1716

Dictionary Entries Near puerperal

Cite this Entry

“Puerperal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puerperal. Accessed 20 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition

puerperal

adjective
pu·​er·​per·​al pyü-ˈər-p(ə-)rəl How to pronounce puerperal (audio)
: of, relating to, or occurring during childbirth or the period immediately following
puerperal infection
puerperal depression
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