[ je-stey-shuh n ]
/ dʒɛˈsteɪ ʃən /


the process, state, or period of gestating.

Origin of gestation

1525–35; < Latin gestātiōn- (stem of gestātiō), equivalent to gestāt(us) (see gestate) + -iōn- -ion


ges·ta·tion·al, ges·ta·tive [jes-tuh-tiv, je-stey-] /ˈdʒɛs tə tɪv, dʒɛˈsteɪ-/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gestation

British Dictionary definitions for gestation

/ (dʒɛˈsteɪʃən) /


  1. the development of the embryo of a viviparous mammal, between conception and birth: about 266 days in humans, 624 days in elephants, and 63 days in cats
  2. (as modifier)gestation period
the development of an idea or plan in the mind
the period of such a development

Derived forms of gestation

gestational or gestative (ˈdʒɛstətɪv, dʒɛˈsteɪ-), adjectivegestatory, adjective

Word Origin for gestation

C16: from Latin gestātiō a bearing, from gestāre to bear, frequentative of gerere to carry
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

Medicine definitions for gestation

[ jĕ-stāshən ]


The period of fetal development from conception until birth; pregnancy.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for gestation

[ jĕ-stāshən ]

The period of time spent in the uterus between conception and birth. Gestation in humans is about nine months.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.