Definitions

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

  • n. A person, usually a woman, who is trained to assist women in childbirth. Also called regionally granny, granny woman.
  • n. One who assists in or takes a part in bringing about a result: "In the Renaissance, artists and writers start to serve as midwives of fame” ( Carlin Romano).
  • transitive v. To assist in the birth of (a baby).
  • transitive v. To assist in bringing forth or about: "Washington's efforts to midwife a Mideast settlement” ( Newsweek).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person, usually a woman, who is trained to assist women in childbirth, but who is not a physician.
  • n. Someone who assists in bringing about some result or project.
  • v. To act as a midwife
  • v. to facilitate the emergence of

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A woman who assists other women in childbirth; a female practitioner of the obstetric art.
  • transitive v. To assist in childbirth.
  • intransitive v. To perform the office of midwife.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A woman who assists women in childbirth.
  • To perform the office of midwife.
  • To assist in childbirth.
  • To aid in bringing into being by acting the part of a midwife; assist in bringing to light.

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

  • n. a woman skilled in aiding the delivery of babies

Etymologies

Middle English midwif : probably mid, with (from Old English) + wif, woman (from Old English wīf).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English, corresponding to mid ("with") + wīf ("woman"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Mr. MO ROCCA (Contributor, "CBS Sunday Morning"): Get your baby delivered by a midwife from the cast of "Star Trek."

    Prediction

  • After the midwife is bitten by a rattle snake, she asks Dr. Quinn to look after her three children.

    NBC Cancels Christian Slater Drama “My Own Worst Enemy”

  • When I called my midwife, she reassured me and said I should expect contractions to start soon.

    The Official Lamaze® Guide

  • My midwife is prescribing me some pain killers, but I probably will avoid taking them since they usually make me really sick to my stomach.

    Not glowing yet

  • I honestly think that we are still working on many feminists to realize that fighting for my right to birth with a midwife is just as important as their right to terminate their pregnancy.

    How Sarah Palin will push reproductive justice to the next level

  • In the morning we called our midwife and doula and arranged to meet them at the freestanding birth center where we planned to have a natural, drug-free water birth.

    Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth

  • If your doctor or midwife is not, perhaps you can find a different one.

    Born at Home

  • Our insurance will pay for it so long as the midwife is licensed!

    Born at Home

  • When we returned home, David suggested I call my midwife to let her know that I might be needing her before very long.

    Son is 7!

  • With a towel between my legs, I called my midwife, jumped in the car, and headed to the hospital, where my lovely five-pound daughter Chiara was delivered by cesarean section.

    OUR BODIES, OURSELVES

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