Definition of birth in English:

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Pronunciation: /bərTH/


1The emergence of a baby or other young from the body of its mother; the start of life as a physically separate being: he was blind from birth despite a difficult birth he’s fit and healthy
More example sentences
  • For mothers planning natural births, the next few hours are likely to be suspenseful.
  • In a pride, mothers will synchronise the births of their cubs so they can form a crèche and share the workload.
  • All of her four births were difficult, with pre- and post-birth bed-rest necessary.
childbirth, delivery, nativity, birthing;
blessed/happy event
formal parturition
dated confinement
archaic accouchement, childbed
1.1The beginning or coming into existence of something: the birth of democracy
More example sentences
  • The story of Tilth's remarkable birth also charts the beginnings of the sustainable agriculture movement
  • This was the birth of new and improved ventures.
  • An electional chart is a chart set up for the time of an event; for its beginning or birth.
beginning(s), emergence, genesis, dawn, dawning, rise, start, onset, commencement
1.2A person’s origin, descent, or ancestry: the mother is American by birth he is not of noble birth
More example sentences
  • Mariam is English by birth, of French origin and resides in New Caledonia, and is currently travelling through India… phew!
  • All contestants must be Irish by birth or ancestry.
  • Cortes considers himself Spanish by birth and gypsy by heritage.
ancestry, lineage, blood, descent, parentage, family, extraction, origin, genealogy, heritage, dual heritage, stock, kinship


[with object] informal, chiefly North American
Give birth to (a baby or other young): she had carried him and birthed him [no object]: in spring the cows birthed
More example sentences
  • I learned about homebirth; four of our five children were birthed at home.
  • Although I am petite, both babies were birthed without any tears or cutting.
  • Many of our women have birthed babies via artificial insemination.
have, bear, produce, be delivered of, bring into the world;
informal drop
dated mother
archaic bring forth


give birth

Bear a child or young: she’s due to give birth in March she gave birth to a son
More example sentences
  • I have a very young family and am only a few days out of hospital after giving birth to my youngest son Michael.
  • A grieving father is bringing up two children alone after his young wife died giving birth.
  • The common lizard is distributed throughout Britain and the female gives birth to live young.


Middle English: from Old Norse byrth; related to bear1.

Words that rhyme with birth

berth, dearth, earth, firth, girth, mirth, Perth, worth

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: birth

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