[ mid-wahyf ]
/ ˈmɪdˌwaɪf /
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noun, plural mid·wives [mid-wahyvz]. /ˈmɪdˌwaɪvz/.

a person trained to assist women in childbirth.
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.

to assist in the birth of (a baby).
to produce or aid in producing (something new): to midwife a new generation of computers.



In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
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The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

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. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for midwife

/ (ˈmɪdˌwaɪf) /

noun plural -wives (-ˌwaɪvz)

a person qualified to deliver babies and to care for women before, during, and after childbirth
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

Medical definitions for midwife

[ mĭdwīf′ ]

n. pl. mid•wives (-wīvz′)

A person, usually a woman, who is trained to assist women in childbirth.


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.

Cultural definitions for 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.

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.
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