See more synonyms for midwife on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural mid·wives [mid-wahyvz] /ˈmɪdˌwaɪvz/.
  1. a person trained to assist women in childbirth.
  2. a person or thing that produces or aids in producing something new or different.
verb (used with object), mid·wifed or mid·wived, mid·wif·ing or mid·wiv·ing.
  1. to assist in the birth of (a baby).
  2. to produce or aid in producing (something new): to midwife a new generation of computers.

Origin of midwife

1250–1300; Middle English midwif, equivalent to mid with, accompanying (Old English; cf. meta-) + wif woman (Old English wīf; see wife)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for midwife

obstetrician, assistant, accoucheuse

Examples from the Web for midwife

Contemporary Examples of midwife

Historical Examples of midwife

British Dictionary definitions for midwife


noun plural -wives (-ˌwaɪvz)
  1. a person qualified to deliver babies and to care for women before, during, and after childbirth

Word Origin for midwife

C14: from Old English mid with + wif woman
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 midwife

c.1300, "woman assisting," literally "woman who is 'with' " (the mother at birth), from Middle English mid "with" (see mid) + wif "woman" (see wife). Cognate with German Beifrau.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

midwife in Medicine


n. pl. mid•wives (-wīvz′)
  1. A person, usually a woman, who is trained to assist women in childbirth.
  1. To assist in the birth of a baby.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

midwife in Culture


A person who serves as an attendant at childbirth but is not a physician. Some midwives (called certified nurse midwives) are trained in university programs, which usually require previous education in nursing; others (called lay midwives) learn their skills through apprenticeship.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.