[ burth ]
See synonyms for: birthbirthedbirthing on

  1. an act or instance of being born: the day of his birth.

  2. the act or process of bearing or bringing forth offspring; childbirth; parturition: a difficult birth.

  1. lineage; extraction; descent: of Grecian birth.

  2. high or noble lineage: to be foolishly vain about one's birth.

  3. natural heritage: a musician by birth.

  4. any coming into existence; origin; beginning: the birth of Protestantism; the birth of an idea.

  5. Archaic. something that is born.

verb (used with object)Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S.
  1. to give birth to.

  2. to assist in giving birth; act as midwife for.

Idioms about birth

  1. give birth to,

    • to bear (a child).

    • to initiate; originate: Her hobby gave birth to a successful business.

Origin of birth

First recorded in 1150–1200; Middle English byrthe, from Scandinavian; compare Old Swedish byrth; cognate with Old English gebyrd, Old High German giburt, Gothic gabaurths; cf. bear1, -th1

Other words for birth

Other words from birth

  • mul·ti·birth, noun

Words that may be confused with birth

Words Nearby birth Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use birth in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for birth


/ (bɜːθ) /

  1. the process of bearing young; parturition; childbirth: Related adjective: natal

  2. the act or fact of being born; nativity

  1. the coming into existence of something; origin

  2. ancestry; lineage: of high birth

  3. noble ancestry: a man of birth

  4. natural or inherited talent: an artist by birth

  5. archaic the offspring or young born at a particular time or of a particular mother

  6. give birth

    • to bear (offspring)

    • to produce, originate, or create (an idea, plan, etc)

verb(tr) rare
  1. to bear or bring forth (a child)

Origin of birth

C12: from Old Norse byrth; related to Gothic gabaurths, Old Swedish byrdh, Old High German berd child; see bear 1, 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

Scientific definitions for birth


[ bûrth ]

  1. The emergence and separation of offspring from the body of its mother, seen in all mammals except monotremes.

  1. Present at birth, as a defect in a bodily structure.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with birth


see give birth to.

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