See more synonyms for birthing on

Origin of birthing

First recorded in 1925–30; birth + -ing1


  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.
  3. lineage; extraction; descent: of Grecian birth.
  4. high or noble lineage: to be foolishly vain about one's birth.
  5. natural heritage: a musician by birth.
  6. any coming into existence; origin; beginning: the birth of Protestantism; the birth of an idea.
  7. 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.
  1. give birth to,
    1. to bear (a child).
    2. to initiate; originate: Her hobby gave birth to a successful business.

Origin of birth

1150–1200; Middle English byrthe < Scandinavian; compare Old Swedish byrth; cognate with Old English gebyrd, Old High German giburt, Gothic gabaurths
Related formsmul·ti·birth, noun
Can be confusedberth birth

Synonyms for birth

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for birthing

Contemporary Examples of birthing

Historical Examples of birthing

  • Had not Yellow Hair been in the birthing wickiup with Redbird?


    Robert Shea

  • This one seems to be birthing the dictatorship of the intellectuals.

    The Sensitive Man

    Poul William Anderson

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

  • 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

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


    Robert Shea

British Dictionary definitions for birthing


  1. the process of bearing young; parturition; childbirthRelated adjective: natal
  2. the act or fact of being born; nativity
  3. the coming into existence of something; origin
  4. ancestry; lineageof high birth
  5. noble ancestrya man of birth
  6. natural or inherited talentan artist by birth
  7. archaic the offspring or young born at a particular time or of a particular mother
  8. give birth
    1. to bear (offspring)
    2. to produce, originate, or create (an idea, plan, etc)
verb (tr) rare
  1. to bear or bring forth (a child)

Word Origin for 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

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

birthing in Medicine


  1. Having to do with or used during birth.
  1. The act of giving birth.


  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.

birthing in Science


  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.

Idioms and Phrases with birthing


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.