American English

Definition of birth noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[uncountable, countable] the time when a baby is born; the process of being born The baby weighed 8 pounds at birth. John was present at the birth of both his children. It was a difficult birth. a hospital/home birth Mark has been blind from birth. Please state your date and place of birth. Topic CollocationsChildrenhaving a baby/child want (to have) a baby/a child/children/kids start a family conceive/be expecting/be going to have a baby/child miss your period become/get/ be/find out that you are pregnant have a baby/a child/kids/a son/a daughter/twins/a family have a normal/a difficult/an unwanted pregnancy; an easy/a difficult birth/labor be in/go into/induce labor have/suffer/cause a miscarriage give birth to a child/a baby/a daughter/a son/twinsparenting bring up/raise a child/a family care for/watch a baby/child/kid change a diaper/a baby nurse/feed/breastfeed/bottle-feed a baby be entitled to/go on maternity/paternity leave go back/return to work after maternity leave need/find/get a babysitter/high-quality, affordable childcare/a nanny balance/combine work and childcare/child-rearing/family (life) educate/teach/home-school a child/a kid/children punish/discipline/spoil a child/a kid/children adopt/foster a baby/a child/a kid/children offer a baby for/put a baby up for adoption be placed with/be raised by foster parents
  2. 2[singular] the beginning of a new situation, idea, place, etc. the birth of a new society in South Africa
  3. 3[uncountable] a person's origin or the social position of their family Anne was French by birth but lived most of her life in Italy. a woman of noble birth
  4. Idioms
    give birth (to somebody/something)
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    to produce a baby or young animal She died shortly after giving birth. Mary gave birth to a healthy baby girl. (figurative) It was the study of history that gave birth to the social sciences.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: birth