[preg-nuh nt]


having a child or other offspring developing in the body; with child or young, as a woman or female mammal.
fraught, filled, or abounding (usually followed by with): a silence pregnant with suspense.
teeming or fertile; rich (often followed by in): a mind pregnant in ideas.
full of meaning; highly significant: a pregnant utterance.
of great importance or potential; momentous: a pregnant moment in the history of the world.

Origin of pregnant

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin praegnant- (stem of praegnāns), variant of praegnās, equivalent to prae- pre- + *gnāt- (akin to ( g)nātus born, gignere to bring into being) + -s nominative singular ending
Related formspreg·nant·ly, adverbpreg·nant·ness, noun


[preg-nuh nt]

adjective Archaic.

convincing; cogent: a pregnant argument.

Origin of pregnant

1350–1400; Middle English preignant < Old French, present participle of preindre, earlier priembre to press1 < Latin premere. Cf. print Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pregnant

Contemporary Examples of pregnant

Historical Examples of pregnant

  • His tone was pregnant with alarm, though he strove to make it merely complaining.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • And that Madame Gaudron was pregnant again; this was almost indecent at her age.


    Emile Zola

  • Like the calm of the heavens when pregnant with thunder was the calm of that crowd.

    The Suitors of Yvonne

    Raphael Sabatini

  • Let us put our pride in our pockets for a moment and try to answer that pregnant question.

    The Missionary

    George Griffith

  • It was a wild wintry scene, pregnant with cold and hardship.

    Submarine Warfare of To-day

    Charles W. Domville-Fife

British Dictionary definitions for pregnant



carrying a fetus or fetuses within the womb
full of meaning or significance
inventive or imaginative
prolific or fruitful
Derived Formspregnantly, adverb

Word Origin for pregnant

C16: from Latin praegnāns with child, from prae before + (g) nascī to be born
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 pregnant

"convincing, weighty, pithy," late 14c., "cogent, convincing, compelling" (of evidence, an argument, etc.); sense of "full of meaning" is from c.1400. According to OED from Old French preignant, present participle of preindre "press, squeeze, stamp, crush," from earlier priembre, from Latin premere "to press" (see press (v.1)). But Watkins has it from Latin praehendere "to grasp, seize," and in Barnhart it is from Latin praegnans "with child," literally "before birth" and thus identical with pregnant (adj.1).


"with child," early 15c., from Latin praegnantem (nominative praegnans, originally praegnas) "with child," literally "before birth," probably from prae- "before" (see pre-) + root of gnasci "be born" (see genus).

Retained its status as a taboo word until c.1950; modern euphemisms include anticipating, enceinte, expecting, in a family way, in a delicate (or interesting) condition. Old English terms included mid-bearne, literally "with child;" bearn-eaca, literally "child-adding" or "child-increasing;" and geacnod "increased." Among c.1800 slang terms for "pregnant" was poisoned (in reference to the swelling).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pregnant in Medicine




Carrying developing offspring within the body.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.