[mis-kar-ij; for 1 also mis-kar-ij]
See more synonyms for miscarriage on Thesaurus.com
  1. the expulsion of a fetus before it is viable, especially between the third and seventh months of pregnancy; spontaneous abortion.Compare abortion(def 1).
  2. failure to attain the just, right, or desired result: a miscarriage of justice.
  3. failure of something sent, as a letter, to reach its destination.
  4. Chiefly British. transportation of goods not in accordance with the contract of shipment.

Origin of miscarriage

First recorded in 1605–15; mis-1 + carriage
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for miscarriage

Contemporary Examples of miscarriage

Historical Examples of miscarriage

  • The next day her wish was fulfilled and she had a miscarriage.

    Therese Raquin

    Emile Zola

  • He could have groaned aloud at this miscarriage of all his fine plans.


    Raphael Sabatini

  • But, very probably, the result is often a miscarriage of justice.

  • This miscarriage of justice sent dismay into the hearts of his parents.

    By the Christmas Fire

    Samuel McChord Crothers

  • Three days later a Grdznth miscarriage threatened, and was averted.


    Alan Edward Nourse

British Dictionary definitions for miscarriage


  1. (also ˈmɪskær-) spontaneous expulsion of a fetus from the womb, esp prior to the 20th week of pregnancy
  2. an act of mismanagement or failurea miscarriage of justice
  3. British the failure of freight to reach its destination
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 miscarriage

1580s, "mistake, error;" 1610s, "misbehavior;" see miscarry + -age. Meaning "untimely delivery" is from 1660s. Miscarriage of justice is from 1875.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

miscarriage in Medicine


[mĭskăr′ĭj, mĭs-kăr-]
  1. spontaneous abortion
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

miscarriage in Science


  1. The premature, spontaneous expulsion of the products of pregnancy from the uterus, usually in the first trimester. Also called spontaneous abortion
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

miscarriage in Culture


[(mis-kar-ij, mis-kar-ij)]

A spontaneous and premature expulsion of an embryo or fetus from the uterus before it is capable of surviving on its own.


Generally, a miscarriage is a failure to achieve a desired end, as in a miscarriage of justice.
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.