- pains associated with the process of childbirth.
- Informal. the hardships and difficulties accompanying a major innovation, change, or new venture.
Origin of birth pangs
First recorded in 1885–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for birth pangs
The curtains of the dark are already shaken by the birth-pangs of the morning.The Drunkard
Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
All those nameless discontents—they were no more than love's birth-pangs.Ann Veronica
H. G. Wells
The marks of the birth-pangs remain on the land; its struggle for breath was too terrible, its scars too deep to hide or cover.The Maid-At-Arms
Robert W. Chambers
It would seem as if bringing forth must be always accompanied by birth-pangs.The Secret Life
The birth-pangs of Democracy, wherewith convulsed Europe was groaning in cries that reached Heaven, could not escape me.