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[bur-thing] /ˈbɜr θɪŋ/
an act or instance of giving birth, especially by natural childbirth.
Origin of birthing
1925-30; birth + -ing1


[burth] /bɜrθ/
an act or instance of being born:
the day of his birth.
the act or process of bearing or bringing forth offspring; childbirth; parturition:
a difficult birth.
lineage; extraction; descent:
of Grecian birth.
high or noble lineage:
to be foolishly vain about one's birth.
natural heritage:
a musician by birth.
any coming into existence; origin; beginning:
the birth of Protestantism; the birth of an idea.
Archaic. something that is born.
verb (used with object), Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S.
to give birth to.
to assist in giving birth; act as midwife for.
give birth to,
  1. to bear (a child).
  2. to initiate; originate:
    Her hobby gave birth to a successful business.
1150-1200; Middle English byrthe < Scandinavian; compare Old Swedish byrth; cognate with Old English gebyrd, Old High German giburt, Gothic gabaurths
Related forms
multibirth, noun
Can be confused
berth, birth.
3. parentage, ancestry, line, blood, family. 6. start, commencement, inception, genesis; launching, inauguration. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for birthing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Hunt ducks in the fall, plow the land in the spring, help at the birthing of calves and lambs and foals?

    Plowing On Sunday Sterling North
  • Had not Yellow Hair been in the birthing wickiup with Redbird?

    Shaman Robert Shea
  • She felt like telling Wind Bends Grass to leave the birthing wickiup.

    Shaman Robert Shea
  • The big sad eyes of it were like those of Maisie, poor lass, when she had the birthing that was her going-call.

    The Washer of the Ford Fiona Macleod
  • This one seems to be birthing the dictatorship of the intellectuals.

    The Sensitive Man Poul William Anderson
British Dictionary definitions for birthing


the process of bearing young; parturition; childbirth related adjective natal
the act or fact of being born; nativity
the coming into existence of something; origin
ancestry; lineage: of high birth
noble ancestry: a man of birth
natural or inherited talent: an artist by birth
(archaic) the offspring or young born at a particular time or of a particular mother
give birth
  1. to bear (offspring)
  2. to produce, originate, or create (an idea, plan, etc)
verb (transitive) (rare)
to bear or bring forth (a child)
Word Origin
C12: from Old Norse byrth; related to Gothic gabaurths, Old Swedish byrdh, Old High German berd child; see bear1, bairn
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for birthing



early 13c., from a Scandinavian source, cf. Old Norse *byrðr (replacing cognate Old English gebyrd "birth, descent, race; offspring; nature; fate"), from Proto-Germanic *gaburthis (cf. Old Frisian berd, Old Saxon giburd, Dutch geboorte, Old High German giburt, German geburt, Gothic gabaurþs), from PIE *bhrto past participle of root *bher- (1) "to carry; to bear children" (cf. Sanskrit bhrtih "a bringing, maintenance," Latin fors, genitive fortis "chance;" see bear (v.)). Suffix -th is for "process" (as in bath, death). Meaning "parentage, lineage, extraction" (revived from Old English) is from mid-13c. Birth control is from 1914; birth rate from 1859. Birth certificate is from 1842.


mid-13c., from birth (n.). Related: Birthed; birthing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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birthing in Medicine

birthing birth·ing (bûr'thĭng)
Having to do with or used during birth. n.
The act of giving birth.

birth (bûrth)

  1. The emergence and separation of offspring from the body of the mother.

  2. The act or process of bearing young; parturition.

  3. The circumstances or conditions relating to this event, as its time or location.

  4. The set of characteristics or circumstances received from one's ancestors; inheritance.

  5. Origin; extraction.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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birthing in Science
Noun  The emergence and separation of offspring from the body of its mother, seen in all mammals except monotremes.

Adjective  Present at birth, as a defect in a bodily structure.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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birthing in the Bible

As soon as a child was born it was washed, and rubbed with salt (Ezek. 16:4), and then swathed with bandages (Job 38:9; Luke 2:7, 12). A Hebrew mother remained forty days in seclusion after the birth of a son, and after the birth of a daughter double that number of days. At the close of that period she entered into the tabernacle or temple and offered up a sacrifice of purification (Lev. 12:1-8; Luke 2:22). A son was circumcised on the eighth day after his birth, being thereby consecrated to God (Gen. 17:10-12; comp. Rom. 4:11). Seasons of misfortune are likened to the pains of a woman in travail, and seasons of prosperity to the joy that succeeds child-birth (Isa. 13:8; Jer. 4:31; John 16:21, 22). The natural birth is referred to as the emblem of the new birth (John 3:3-8; Gal. 6:15; Titus 3:5, etc.).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with birthing


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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