Definition of birth in English:

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Pronunciation: /bəːθ/


[mass noun]
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 [count noun]: 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
informal the patter of tiny feet
technical parturition
archaic confinement, accouchement, childbed
1.1The beginning or coming into existence of something: the birth of Socialist Realism
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, arrival, advent;
origin, source, fountainhead
1.2A person’s origin, descent, or ancestry: the mother is English by birth he is 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, descent, origin(s), parentage, lineage, line, line of descent, heritage, family, stock, blood, bloodline, genealogy, breeding, pedigree, house, extraction, derivation, background
rare filiation, stirps


[with object] informal, chiefly North American
Give birth to (a baby or other young): she birthed five children within ten years
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;
North American  birth
informal drop
dated mother
archaic be brought to bed of, bring forth


give birth

Bear a child or young: 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

Line breaks: birth

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