from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun uncountable The final stage of pregnancy; confinement
  • noun countable The bed in which a baby is born

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

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


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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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