Share this entry
couvade Syllabification: cou·vade
Pronunciation: /ko͞oˈväd/

Definition of couvade in English:


The custom in some cultures in which a man takes to his bed and goes through certain rituals when his child is being born, as though he were physically affected by the birth.
Example sentences
  • The only known cure for couvade is - birth.
  • But couvade, as I attempt to untangle its relation to colonialism in this essay, is a strategy re-invented for the purposes of reconciliation in narratives of Manichean allegory.
  • In extreme forms of couvade, the man may mimic the pain and process of childbirth and expect his wife to wait on him in the following days.


Mid 19th century: French, from couver 'to hatch', from Latin cubare 'lie down'. The adoption of the term in French was due to a misunderstanding of the phrase faire la couvade 'sit doing nothing', used by earlier writers.

Words that rhyme with couvade

Assad, aubade, avant-garde, backyard, ballade, bard, Bernard, bombard, canard, card, charade, chard, croustade, Cunard, facade, glissade, guard, hard, ill-starred, interlard, lard, Montagnard, nard, pard, petard, pomade, promenade, regard, rodomontade, roulade, saccade, Sade, salade, sard, shard, unmarred, unscarred, yard
Definition of couvade in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources