Definition of midwife in English:



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

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


[with object]
  • 1Assist (a woman) during childbirth.

    ‘these women midwifed her’
    1. 1.1 Help 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.’
      • ‘When writers who had midwifed and enriched Kannada theatre turned to cinema, there was a sudden drought of plays, but that didn't stop Nagesh from doing his things dramatically.’
      • ‘Creating a more lush sonic presence without obliterating all traces of the band's personality was a balancing act midwifed by Terry Tran, who produced, engineered, and mixed the album.’
      • ‘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’).