[ pyoo-ur-per-uh l ]
/ pyuˈɜr pər əl /


of or relating to a woman in childbirth.
pertaining to or connected with childbirth.

Nearby words

  1. puericulture,
  2. puerile,
  3. puerilism,
  4. puerility,
  5. puerpera,
  6. puerperal eclampsia,
  7. puerperal fever,
  8. puerperal metritis,
  9. puerperal psychosis,
  10. puerperal septicemia

Origin of puerperal

First recorded in 1760–70, puerperal is from the New Latin word puerperālis of childbirth. See puerpera, -al1

Related formspost·pu·er·per·al, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for puerperal

British Dictionary definitions for puerperal


/ (pjuːˈɜːpərəl) /


of, relating to, or occurring during the puerperium

Word Origin for puerperal

C18: from New Latin puerperālis relating to childbirth; see puerperium

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 puerperal



1768, with -al (1) + Latin puerperus "bringing forth children; bearing a child" (as a noun, "woman in labor"), from puer "child, boy" (see puerility) + parere "to bear" (see pare). Earlier puerperial (1620s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for puerperal


[ pyōō-ûrpər-əl ]


Relating to, connected with, or occurring during childbirth or the period immediately following childbirth.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.