Definition of birth in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The 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’
    • ‘The Jacob cycle is a life cycle, from birth to death, from exile to return.’
    • ‘All of her four births were difficult, with pre- and post-birth bed-rest necessary.’
    • ‘For mothers planning natural births, the next few hours are likely to be suspenseful.’
    • ‘Psychologists who deal with phobias usually trace them to incidents in very young childhood - from birth to about five.’
    • ‘It's a fantastic service and is there to support mothers before and after labour and is not just about births.’
    • ‘The young feed themselves from birth normally by pecking.’
    • ‘This is mainly due to the number of multiple births and the age of the mother - IVF mothers are usually older.’
    • ‘In a pride, mothers will synchronise the births of their cubs so they can form a crèche and share the workload.’
    • ‘The babies arrived two weeks early and their biological mother remained at her side to witness the births.’
    • ‘They had all been difficult births, and by assisting she had learned far more than she wanted to know.’
    • ‘There are several physiological changes that occur in the digestive tract of the young pig from birth to eight weeks of age.’
    • ‘Yang places a high importance on using stem cells from birth, rather than those collected from adults because of vitality.’
    • ‘Like other animals, they pass through a life cycle from birth to maturity to death.’
    • ‘When faced with such increases in medical intervention, more expectant mothers are requesting home births.’
    • ‘Most births occurred at home, assisted by traditional birth attendants, relatives, and neighbours.’
    • ‘Second, both doctors and mothers appear to be using C-sections to better time births.’
    • ‘It is widely believed that Caesarean births are not good for the recovery of the mother and the growth of the baby.’
    • ‘These numbers are of course the final two digits in the years that mark the births and deaths of Hitler and Stalin, respectively.’
    • ‘The daughter had lived with her single mother from birth.’
    • ‘Both are even apparent in children who have been blind and deaf from birth, who differentiate strangers from familiars by their smell.’
    childbirth, delivery, nativity, birthing
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    1. 1.1The beginning or coming into existence of something.
      ‘the birth of Socialist Realism’
      • ‘Why does the left in Ireland have no problem siding objectively with those determined to strangle democracy at birth in Iraq?’
      • ‘Only those moments that show democracy's birth and possibility, along with its decline and failure, become resources for imagining our future.’
      • ‘This was the birth of new and improved ventures.’
      • ‘The story of Tilth's remarkable birth also charts the beginnings of the sustainable agriculture movement’
      • ‘It would take us back to the first elements to be in existence at the birth of the Earth, in the years when it was cooling.’
      • ‘Shia and Sunni Muslims have been inimical to each other from their inception, indeed their birth was caused by a war between two groups.’
      • ‘When force secured partition, the UUP emerged to ensure that democracy in the North was smothered at birth.’
      • ‘Most products, services, and the industries supplying them have a life cycle from birth, through growth, then to maturity and eventual decline.’
      • ‘The book presents a fascinating story of the birth & beginning of the roots of Hinduism from 8,000 BCE.’
      • ‘As Mr Peters said, this is the worst kind of start, or birth, for a new court.’
      • ‘An electional chart is a chart set up for the time of an event; for its beginning or birth.’
      • ‘That's still 6 per cent short of the $1.17 rate at the euro's birth at the start of 1999.’
      • ‘Human evolution had its earliest beginnings in the birth of family life.’
      • ‘As mentioned above, the conflict with Islam started soon after its birth when in 636 CE it attacked India.’
      emergence, genesis, dawn, dawning, rise, start, arrival, advent
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    2. 1.2A person's origin, descent, or ancestry.
      ‘the mother is English by birth’
      ‘he is of noble birth’
      • ‘Some American servicemen and women are Muslim by birth.’
      • ‘They do not permit her to make us happy, but put her on a level with money, status, noble birth, health, beauty and other things which are common to virtue and vice.’
      • ‘His popularity sprang from his simple, evocative verse, augmented by the appeal of a noble birth, romantic youth, and tragic end.’
      • ‘All contestants must be Irish by birth or ancestry.’
      • ‘Mariam is English by birth, of French origin and resides in New Caledonia, and is currently travelling through India… phew!’
      • ‘And so he comes, through these various transgressions, into conflict with the mandates of the ethnic group and religion to which he belongs by birth.’
      • ‘English by birth, I'd been in Australia for about 10 years and had a hankering to return to my roots, if not permanently, then at least for a considerable length of time.’
      • ‘They choose their kings by birth, their generals for merit.’
      • ‘I'm a new USA citizen, Australian by birth, who headed down to the Madison City Clerk's office today for early voting.’
      • ‘He is a dual citizen but American by birth and accent.’
      • ‘Cortes considers himself Spanish by birth and gypsy by heritage.’
      • ‘Any musical artists of Canadian aboriginal status or non-status Metis or Inuit by birth, adoption or community acceptance are eligible for the awards.’
      • ‘She is, I think, Swiss by birth and is now based in Toronto, and she creates stories by posing children's dolls and other toys in her photographs.’
      • ‘He got there not by birth or revolution or coup like the rest, but through a Western-style democratic election, or so it seems.’
      • ‘Argentine by birth, he became famous in his native country for a series of songs in the 1940s, but he also composed symphonic works and pieces for other solo instruments.’
      • ‘She said she was a Kiwi by birth and I remarked I'd been to En Zed a couple of times and that the last time I'd been there I'd visited Hobbiton.’
      • ‘I'm a Texan by birth and by choice in many ways, but I've never been prouder of being a New Yorker than I am now.’
      • ‘Syrian by birth, he was interrogated by U.S. officials and then deported.’
      • ‘Indian by birth, he is on a foreign posting in New Delhi.’
      • ‘I don't think there is a regional favorite, although he's clearly a South Carolinian by birth.’
      ancestry, descent, parentage, lineage, line, line of descent, heritage, family, stock, blood, bloodline, genealogy, breeding, pedigree, house, extraction, derivation, background
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[WITH OBJECT]North American
  • Give birth to (a baby or other young)

    ‘she birthed five children within ten years’
    • ‘Everything was fine, and I birthed my beautiful daughter at home on July 30, 1993.’
    • ‘This is also the season for fresh cheeses, because the goats who have birthed their young can spare you some of their milk.’
    • ‘It is like a mother who has birthed many, many children watching every one of them die very slowly while knowing that it is all her fault.’
    • ‘Simultaneously, they repeat those lines once more and the hulking man lowers his gaze to the tiny woman who birthed him.’
    • ‘Once an infertile woman has successfully birthed a child, then she and her partner may be asked to donate the unneeded embryos for research.’
    • ‘Ataren knew that they were never married, but he thought there should be something in memory of her considering she birthed two children to a prince.’
    • ‘But when the oil ran out, so did he, and Josefa birthed Rebecca into the world alone.’
    • ‘His wife, Gabriela, just recently birthed their first child, Marcie.’
    • ‘I learned about homebirth; four of our five children were birthed at home.’
    • ‘She birthed two daughters but died as the mother of many.’
    • ‘Many of our women have birthed babies via artificial insemination.’
    • ‘Although I am petite, both babies were birthed without any tears or cutting.’
    • ‘I birthed my son at home, alone except for my husband.’
    • ‘Bitterly, Yvonne remembered that she too had birthed a son, though her father didn't know that.’
    • ‘But his stepmother was as close to him as if she had birthed him.’
    • ‘I birthed our son, who was 3 years old at the time I was diagnosed.’
    • ‘She birthed her baby, and every cell in her body knows and shows her strength.’
    • ‘Who do you think carried you, birthed you, endured the pain that you gave?’
    • ‘Clementine, like her mother, birthed seven children.’
    • ‘He professed that his mama had birthed him in a cotton field, cut her own cord, tied him to her back and then kept on working.’
    have, bear, produce, be delivered of, bring into the world
    be brought to bed of, bring forth
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  • give birth

    • Bear a child or young.

      ‘she gave birth to a son’
      • ‘The campaigning women said mothers need more than just a place to give birth, especially young mums.’
      • ‘Helen is the fifth generation of all women on her maternal line and my younger sister gave birth to a baby girl this year as well.’
      • ‘Even lower species of life such as snakes give birth to hundreds of young at one time.’
      • ‘The common lizard is distributed throughout Britain and the female gives birth to live young.’
      • ‘I have a very young family and am only a few days out of hospital after giving birth to my youngest son Michael.’
      • ‘One child answered that an amphibian is an animal that doesn't give birth to its young.’
      • ‘Fears are growing for her health as she is due to give birth in just six weeks and has been suffering ill health.’
      • ‘In June, female bats congregate at a maternity roost to give birth and suckle their young.’
      • ‘A grieving father is bringing up two children alone after his young wife died giving birth.’
      • ‘When she gives birth, the young emerge as fully-developed, miniature replicas of the adults.’
      labour, giving birth, birthing
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Middle English: from Old Norse byrth; related to bear.