Definition of gestate in English:



[no object]
  • 1Carry a fetus in the womb from conception to birth.

    ‘rabbits gestate for approximately twenty-eight days’
    • ‘A foetus is conceived, gestated and nourished only by its mother - the father is locked out.’
    • ‘Unlike females, which must gestate then rear their offspring, males can breed any time.’
    • ‘It would be possible for one partner to donate the egg, for the other partner to donate the cell nucleus with its DNA, and for the first partner to gestate and give birth to the child.’
    • ‘Animals which are currently threatened with extinction may be saved by the use of frozen embryos and IVF technology which uses related species to gestate embryos.’
    • ‘In similar experiments, scientists in Spain have produced live ibex kids from ibex embryos implanted and gestated in domestic goats.’
    • ‘So how close are we to creating fully functioning artificial wombs, capable of gestating a human child from the embryonic stage to the fetal stage to a state of viability?’
    • ‘The baby is a clone of the 30-year-old American woman who donated the DNA for the cloning process, had the resulting embryo implanted and then gestated the baby.’
    • ‘One person - the father - contributes genetic material and the other - the mother - contributes genetic material as well as gestates and gives birth to the child.’
    1. 1.1 (of a fetus) undergo gestation.
      • ‘I think it might be because human babies gestate slightly longer.’
      • ‘The moon affects the tides, a women's monthly cycle and a mouse gestates for 28 days.’
      • ‘One litter of approximately four to five young is suckled while the next brood is gestating.’
      • ‘Sometimes you can just see it in their faces, that they want to ask me if I have a fetus gestating in there, but that they don't quite dare.’
      • ‘Here's some stuff I didn't know before going to the lengths I went to to become pregnant: these kids gestate for ten months, not nine.’
      • ‘The new embryo would then be implanted in the uterus of a pregnant mouse, chimpanzee, or human to gestate until birth.’
      • ‘The infant gestated for six months before being removed into an incubator.’
      • ‘In 2170, when the first batch of Gammas was gestating in their artificial wombs, removing the irillium was proposed.’
      • ‘I'm proud of my baby body, knowing that it gave my son a comfy vessel in which to gestate and has been the source of all his nourishment since birth.’
    2. 1.2 Develop over a long period.
      ‘a series that has been gestating for three years’
      • ‘In all the years since then he has been gestating this tremendous book about a city unique not just in Europe, but in the entire history of humanity.’
      • ‘Fortunately, Oliver likes to gestate her evening-length dances over a long period and says she feels that this process melds well with the demands of university life.’


Mid 19th century: from Latin gestat- ‘carried in the womb’, from the verb gestare.