Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The condition of a woman in the process of giving birth.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The final stage of pregnancy; confinement
  • n. The bed in which a baby is born

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The state of a woman bringing forth a child, or being in labor; parturition.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Literally, the bed in which a woman gives birth to a child; hence, the act of bringing forth a child or the state of being in labor; parturition: as, “women in child-bed,” Arbuthnot, Aliments.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. concluding state of pregnancy; from the onset of contractions to the birth of a child

Etymologies

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  • A terrible childbed hast thou had, my dear;
    No light, no fire: the unfriendly elements
    Forgot thee utterly: nor have I time
    To give thee hallow'd to thy grave, but straight
    Must cast thee, scarcely coffin'd, in the ooze;

    - William Shakespeare, 'Pericles, Prince of Tyre'.

    July 26, 2009