English Dictionary

Pioneers in dictionary publishing since 1819

birth (bɜːθ Pronunciation for birth



  1. the process of bearing young; parturition; childbirth related adjective natal
  2. the act or fact of being born; nativity
  3. the coming into existence of something; origin
  4. ancestry; lineage   ⇒ of high birth
  5. noble ancestry   ⇒ a man of birth
  6. natural or inherited talent   ⇒ an artist by birth
  7. (archaic) the offspring or young born at a particular time or of a particular mother
  8. See give birth

verb (transitive)

  1. to bear or bring forth (a child)

Word Origin

C12: from Old Norse byrth; related to Gothic gabaurths, Old Swedish byrdh, Old High German berd child; see bear1, bairn

Quotations including 'birth'

  • "Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,Hath had elsewhere its setting,And cometh from afar" [William Wordsworth
  • "Birth, and copulation, and death.That's all the facts when you come to brass tacks:Birth, and copulation and death.I've been born, and once is enough" [T.S. Eliot
  • "It is as natural to die as to be born; and to a little infant, perhaps, the one is as painful as the other" [Francis Bacon
  • "There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval" [George Santayana

Translations for 'birth'

  • British English: birthPronunciation for birth When a baby is born, you refer to this event as its birth.The twins were separated at birth.bɜːθ NOUN
  • Arabic: مِيلادPronunciation for مِيلاد
  • Brazilian Portuguese: nascimentoPronunciation for nascimento
  • Chinese: 出生Pronunciation for 出生
  • Croatian: rođenjePronunciation for rođenje
  • Czech: narozeníPronunciation for narození
  • Danish: fødselPronunciation for fødsel
  • Dutch: geboortePronunciation for geboorte
  • European Spanish: nacimientoPronunciation for nacimiento
  • Finnish: syntymäPronunciation for syntymä
  • French: naissancePronunciation for naissance
  • German: GeburtPronunciation for Geburt
  • Greek: γέννησηPronunciation for γέννηση
  • Italian: nascitaPronunciation for nascita
  • Japanese: 誕生Pronunciation for 誕生
  • Korean: 출생Pronunciation for 출생
  • Norwegian: fødselPronunciation for fødsel
  • Polish: narodzinyPronunciation for narodziny
  • Portuguese: nascimentoPronunciation for nascimento
  • Romanian: naștere nașteri
  • Russian: рождениеPronunciation for рождение
  • Spanish: nacimientoPronunciation for nacimiento
  • Swedish: födelsePronunciation for födelse
  • Thai: การเกิดPronunciation for การเกิด
  • Turkish: doğumPronunciation for doğum
  • Ukrainian: народження
  • Vietnamese: sự sinh đẻPronunciation for sự sinh đẻ

Example Sentences Including 'birth'

I remember asking him:'Do you realise I'm not an Italian by birth ?
Country Life (2004)
I was also, probably, about to learn my true date of birth.
Isabel Wolff RESCUING ROSE (2002)
In reply Adam laid down a copy of an original birth certificate.
Stuart Harrison LOST SUMMER (2002)
Not long after he had returned home his mother gave birth to his sister.
Dorothy Rowe BEYOND FEAR (2002)
Sophie Proust, who lives near Paris, gave birth to a 5lb 9oz baby girl in the toilet of the bus on Sunday.
Glasgow Herald (2001)
Ten years later and the 1980s saw the emergence of the hostile takeover and the birth of the leveraged buyout (LBO).
Irish Times (2002)
The clouds conceive not rain, or do not pour In the due birth time, down the balmy shower.
Globe and Mail (2003)
There are fears that any human babies produced through cloning could have serious birth defects.
Glasgow Herald (2001)
They judge people by their actions, not an accident of birth.
Jennifer Fallon TREASON KEEP (2001)


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