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midwife

[mid-wahyf]
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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.
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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.
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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

obstetricianassistantaccoucheuse

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British Dictionary definitions for midwife

midwife

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

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

n.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

midwife in Medicine

midwife

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

midwife in Culture

midwife

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.

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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.