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dystocia Syllabification: dys·to·ci·a
Pronunciation: /dəˈstōSH(ē)ə/

Definition of dystocia in English:


Medicine & Veterinary Medicine
Difficult birth, typically caused by a large or awkwardly positioned fetus, by smallness of the maternal pelvis, or by failure of the uterus and cervix to contract and expand normally.
Example sentences
  • In gestational diabetes, shoulder dystocia is the complication most anticipated at the time of delivery.
  • Her last child weighed 4.4 kg at birth and slight shoulder dystocia was noted at delivery.
  • Male calves resulting from these matings express a higher incidence of dystocia than heifer calves because male calves are gestated longer and have considerably larger birthweights.


Early 18th century: from Greek dustokia, from dus- 'difficult' + tokos 'childbirth'.

Definition of dystocia in:
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