• synonyms


or ob·stet·ri·cal

[uh b-ste-trik or uh b-ste-tri-kuh l]
  1. of or relating to the care and treatment of women in childbirth and during the period before and after delivery.
  2. of or relating to childbirth or obstetrics. Abbreviation: OB, ob
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Origin of obstetric

1735–45; < New Latin obstetrīcus pertaining to a midwife, alteration of Latin obstetrīcius, derivative of obstetrīx, equivalent to ob- ob- + ste- (combining form of stāre to stand) + -trīx -trix
Related formsob·stet·ri·cal·ly, adverbnon·ob·stet·ric, adjectivenon·ob·stet·ri·cal, adjectivenon·ob·stet·ri·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for obstetrical

Historical Examples of obstetrical

  • In 1847, I was appointed one of the physicians to Bellevue Hospital, to which an obstetrical department was attached.

    A System of Practical Medicine By American Authors, Vol. II


  • A woman physician whom I know was in the midst of a violent headache when called out on an obstetrical case.

    Outwitting Our Nerves

    Josephine A. Jackson and Helen M. Salisbury

  • Events had no right to be born throughout his dominions, without a preparatory course of his obstetrical pedantry.

  • Events must not be born without a preparatory course of his obstetrical pedantry!

    House of Torment

    Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull

  • Just then, even Doctor Smyth of the neighborhood practice and obstetrical habits seemed a miracle-worker.

    The Job

    Sinclair Lewis

British Dictionary definitions for obstetrical



  1. of or relating to childbirth or obstetrics
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Derived Formsobstetrically, adverb

Word Origin for obstetric

C18: via New Latin from Latin obstetrīcius, from obstetrix a midwife, literally: woman who stands opposite, from obstāre to stand in front of; see obstacle
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 obstetrical



1742, from Modern Latin obstetricus "pertaining to a midwife," from obstetrix (genitive obstetricis) "midwife," literally "one who stands opposite (the woman giving birth)," from obstare "stand opposite to" (see obstacle). The true adjective would be obstetricic, "but only pedantry would take exception to obstetric at this stage of its career." [Fowler]. Related: Obstetrical.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

obstetrical in Medicine


(ŏb-stĕtrĭk, əb-)
  1. Of or relating to the profession of obstetrics or the care of women during and after pregnancy.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.