Definition of maieutic in English:



  • Of or denoting the Socratic mode of inquiry, which aims to bring a person's latent ideas into clear consciousness.

    • ‘The aims of an analytical treatment are therapeutic or maieutic.’
    • ‘By maieutic effect or aim, Bleger (1973) refers to an enrichment or more widespread development that affects either a part or the whole of the personality, distinguishing this from the curative goals.’
    • ‘Growth-enabling leadership is best described as "maieutic" leadership, from the Greek maienomu (to serve as midwife).’

plural noun

  • [treated as singular] The maieutic method.

    • ‘In this paper I want to show that poetics need maieutics.’


Mid 17th century: from Greek maieutikos, from maieuesthai act as a midwife from maia midwife.