Definition of birth in English:



  • 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’
    • ‘Second, both doctors and mothers appear to be using C-sections to better time births.’
    • ‘The young feed themselves from birth normally by pecking.’
    • ‘For mothers planning natural births, the next few hours are likely to be suspenseful.’
    • ‘The daughter had lived with her single mother from birth.’
    • ‘This is mainly due to the number of multiple births and the age of the mother - IVF mothers are usually older.’
    • ‘There are several physiological changes that occur in the digestive tract of the young pig from birth to eight weeks of age.’
    • ‘When faced with such increases in medical intervention, more expectant mothers are requesting home births.’
    • ‘It is widely believed that Caesarean births are not good for the recovery of the mother and the growth of the baby.’
    • ‘Most births occurred at home, assisted by traditional birth attendants, relatives, and neighbours.’
    • ‘These numbers are of course the final two digits in the years that mark the births and deaths of Hitler and Stalin, respectively.’
    • ‘In a pride, mothers will synchronise the births of their cubs so they can form a crèche and share the workload.’
    • ‘The Jacob cycle is a life cycle, from birth to death, from exile to return.’
    • ‘The babies arrived two weeks early and their biological mother remained at her side to witness the births.’
    • ‘Both are even apparent in children who have been blind and deaf from birth, who differentiate strangers from familiars by their smell.’
    • ‘They had all been difficult births, and by assisting she had learned far more than she wanted to know.’
    • ‘All of her four births were difficult, with pre- and post-birth bed-rest necessary.’
    • ‘It's a fantastic service and is there to support mothers before and after labour and is not just about births.’
    • ‘Like other animals, they pass through a life cycle from birth to maturity to death.’
    • ‘Yang places a high importance on using stem cells from birth, rather than those collected from adults because of vitality.’
    • ‘Psychologists who deal with phobias usually trace them to incidents in very young childhood - from birth to about five.’
    childbirth, delivery, nativity, birthing
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    1. 1.1The beginning or coming into existence of something.
      ‘the birth of democracy’
      • ‘The book presents a fascinating story of the birth & beginning of the roots of Hinduism from 8,000 BCE.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Shia and Sunni Muslims have been inimical to each other from their inception, indeed their birth was caused by a war between two groups.’
      • ‘Most products, services, and the industries supplying them have a life cycle from birth, through growth, then to maturity and eventual decline.’
      • ‘This was the birth of new and improved ventures.’
      • ‘Only those moments that show democracy's birth and possibility, along with its decline and failure, become resources for imagining our future.’
      • ‘As mentioned above, the conflict with Islam started soon after its birth when in 636 CE it attacked India.’
      • ‘The story of Tilth's remarkable birth also charts the beginnings of the sustainable agriculture movement’
      • ‘Why does the left in Ireland have no problem siding objectively with those determined to strangle democracy at birth in Iraq?’
      • ‘As Mr Peters said, this is the worst kind of start, or birth, for a new court.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘An electional chart is a chart set up for the time of an event; for its beginning or birth.’
      • ‘When force secured partition, the UUP emerged to ensure that democracy in the North was smothered at birth.’
      emergence, genesis, dawn, dawning, rise, start, arrival, advent
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    2. 1.2A person's origin, descent, or ancestry.
      ‘the mother is American by birth’
      ‘he is not of noble birth’
      • ‘Mariam is English by birth, of French origin and resides in New Caledonia, and is currently travelling through India… phew!’
      • ‘His popularity sprang from his simple, evocative verse, augmented by the appeal of a noble birth, romantic youth, and tragic end.’
      • ‘They choose their kings by birth, their generals for merit.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Any musical artists of Canadian aboriginal status or non-status Metis or Inuit by birth, adoption or community acceptance are eligible for the awards.’
      • ‘He is a dual citizen but American by birth and accent.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Indian by birth, he is on a foreign posting in New Delhi.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I'm a new USA citizen, Australian by birth, who headed down to the Madison City Clerk's office today for early voting.’
      • ‘He got there not by birth or revolution or coup like the rest, but through a Western-style democratic election, or so it seems.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Some American servicemen and women are Muslim 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.’
      • ‘Cortes considers himself Spanish by birth and gypsy by heritage.’
      • ‘Syrian by birth, he was interrogated by U.S. officials and then deported.’
      • ‘All contestants must be Irish by birth or ancestry.’
      • ‘I don't think there is a regional favorite, although he's clearly a South Carolinian by birth.’
      • ‘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.’
      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 had carried him and birthed him’
    [no object] ‘in spring the cows birthed’
    • ‘His wife, Gabriela, just recently birthed their first child, Marcie.’
    • ‘Once an infertile woman has successfully birthed a child, then she and her partner may be asked to donate the unneeded embryos for research.’
    • ‘I learned about homebirth; four of our five children were birthed at home.’
    • ‘I birthed our son, who was 3 years old at the time I was diagnosed.’
    • ‘Although I am petite, both babies were birthed without any tears or cutting.’
    • ‘I birthed my son at home, alone except for my husband.’
    • ‘This is also the season for fresh cheeses, because the goats who have birthed their young can spare you some of their milk.’
    • ‘She birthed her baby, and every cell in her body knows and shows her strength.’
    • ‘She birthed two daughters but died as the mother of many.’
    • ‘But his stepmother was as close to him as if she had birthed him.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Clementine, like her mother, birthed seven children.’
    • ‘Simultaneously, they repeat those lines once more and the hulking man lowers his gaze to the tiny woman who birthed him.’
    • ‘Bitterly, Yvonne remembered that she too had birthed a son, though her father didn't know that.’
    • ‘Many of our women have birthed babies via artificial insemination.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Everything was fine, and I birthed my beautiful daughter at home on July 30, 1993.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Who do you think carried you, birthed you, endured the pain that you gave?’
    • ‘But when the oil ran out, so did he, and Josefa birthed Rebecca into the world alone.’
    have, bear, produce, be delivered of, bring into the world
    be brought to bed of, bring forth
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Middle English: from Old Norse byrth; related to bear.