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or obstetrical

[uh b-ste-trik or uh b-ste-tri-kuh l] /əbˈstɛ trɪk or əbˈstɛ trɪ kəl/
of or relating to the care and treatment of women in childbirth and during the period before and after delivery.
of or relating to childbirth or obstetrics.
Abbreviation: OB, ob.
Origin of obstetric
1735-45; < New Latin obstetrīcus pertaining to a midwife, alteration of Latin obstetrīcius, derivative of obstetrīx, equivalent to ob- ob- + ste- (combining form of stāre to stand) + -trīx -trix
Related forms
obstetrically, adverb
nonobstetric, adjective
nonobstetrical, adjective
nonobstetrically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for obstetrical
Historical Examples
  • In 1847, I was appointed one of the physicians to Bellevue Hospital, to which an obstetrical department was attached.

  • A woman physician whom I know was in the midst of a violent headache when called out on an obstetrical case.

    Outwitting Our Nerves Josephine A. Jackson and Helen M. Salisbury
  • Events had no right to be born throughout his dominions, without a preparatory course of his obstetrical pedantry.

  • Events must not be born without a preparatory course of his obstetrical pedantry!

    House of Torment

    Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • Just then, even Doctor Smyth of the neighborhood practice and obstetrical habits seemed a miracle-worker.

    The Job Sinclair Lewis
  • In reply, he asked me to visit a house which had been made over into an obstetrical hospital for Belgian nuns.

    Golden Lads Arthur Gleason and Helen Hayes Gleason
  • Much speculation with Bea: Had the obstetrical case taken longer than he had expected?

    Main Street Sinclair Lewis
  • Mrs. Stiver is busy with an obstetrical case, and that town nurse of yours is off on vacation, ain't she?

    Main Street Sinclair Lewis
  • Just in this fact lies the chief moral crux in the use of the twilight sleep method of obstetrical delivery.

  • The greatest obstetrician of the later nineteenth century reports 100,000 obstetrical cases with only one artificial labor.

    Psychotherapy James J. Walsh
British Dictionary definitions for obstetrical


of or relating to childbirth or obstetrics
Derived Forms
obstetrically, adverb
Word Origin
C18: via New Latin from Latin obstetrīcius, from obstetrix a midwife, literally: woman who stands opposite, from obstāre to stand in front of; see obstacle
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 obstetrical



1742, from Modern Latin obstetricus "pertaining to a midwife," from obstetrix (genitive obstetricis) "midwife," literally "one who stands opposite (the woman giving birth)," from obstare "stand opposite to" (see obstacle). The true adjective would be obstetricic, "but only pedantry would take exception to obstetric at this stage of its career." [Fowler]. Related: Obstetrical.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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obstetrical in Medicine

obstetric ob·stet·ric (ŏb-stět'rĭk, əb-) or ob·stet·ri·cal (-rĭ-kəl)
Of or relating to the profession of obstetrics or the care of women during and after pregnancy.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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