Definition of midwife in English:



  • 1A person, typically a woman, who is trained to assist women in childbirth.

    • ‘The doctor, obstetrician, midwife, or family practitioner is often the liaison between parents and the NICU team.’
    • ‘Again, close liaison between obstetrician, midwife, general practitioner, cardiologist, and neonatologist is vital.’
    • ‘Lynn says it helps that a number of nurses and midwives have trained in the courses.’
    • ‘Ask the doctor, midwife, nurse or local hospital or clinic about childbirth classes near you.’
    • ‘He announced that nurses and midwives would also be trained to counsel patients and administer the drug.’
    • ‘It goes without saying that no visit with the local midwife or the general practitioner was offered before the 15th week.’
    • ‘Possible adverse events were detected by two nurses in medicine and surgery and two midwives in obstetrics.’
    • ‘A research nurse employed by the study then identified a senior obstetrician or midwife and a senior neonatologist or neonatal nurse within each of these hospitals.’
    • ‘The health industry recruits nurses, midwives, radiographers and mammographers.’
    • ‘Various forms of simple models are now being used to train midwives, doctors and obstetricians.’
    • ‘Some of the midwives were trained in modern modes of delivery.’
    • ‘Once the bleeding has been evaluated its management may remain with general practitioners or midwives.’
    • ‘Delivering your baby at home with a nurse midwife generally isn't recommended because of the increased potential for problems due to your diabetes.’
    • ‘Childbirth without fear should become a reality for women, midwives, and obstetricians.’
    • ‘In addition to doctors, the bill also fails to protect registered nurses and midwives who are out on call.’
    • ‘There are health clinics staffed by nurse midwives in rural areas.’
    • ‘Your midwife or health visitor will also check for jaundice.’
    • ‘Physicians, nurses, midwives, and pharmacists, among others, are to be roped in for the campaign.’
    • ‘The study of its principles is now part of the registration requirement for nurses and midwives.’
    • ‘Talk to your midwife or obstetrician (pregnancy specialist) about activities you should avoid during the healing period.’
    1. 1.1A person who helps to create or develop something.
      ‘he survived to be one of the midwives of the Reformation’
      • ‘I was privileged to be a colleague of its midwife and founding editor, Susan McHenry, now our editorial director, when she was formulating ideas for it.’


  • 1 Assist (a woman) during childbirth.

    ‘these women midwifed her’
    1. 1.1Help to bring about.
      ‘Gruber midwifed the deal’
      • ‘In Afghanistan, the U.N. midwifed a political process that gave birth to an interim Afghan government, whose ministers began their work with desks, stationery and telephones provided by the U. N.’
      • ‘Every significant new publishing phenomenon has been midwifed by a great leap forward in printing technology.’


Middle English: probably from the obsolete preposition mid ‘with’+ wife (in the archaic sense ‘woman’), expressing the sense ‘a woman who is with (the mother’).