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

  • adj. Dead at birth.
  • adj. Failing before or at the very beginning or inception; abortive: a stillborn plot to assassinate the President.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Dead at birth.
  • adj. Ignored, without influence, or unsuccessful from the outset; abortive.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Dead at the birth.
  • adj. Fig.: Abortive.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Dead at birth; born lifeless: as, a still-born child.

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

  • adj. (of newborn infant) showing no signs of life at birth; not liveborn
  • adj. failing to accomplish an intended result


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

First attested 1597, from English still + born.


  • Women become pregnant very young, recieve insufficient nutrition, and as a result they endure protracted labor resulting in stillborn babies -- and injuries that result in eventual incontinence, social ostracism, and heartbreak.


  • My mother had a full-term stillborn baby that she had similar thoughts about - what would she have been like?

    Suing your own abortionist for making you witness the murder of your accidentally delivered child.

  • The patient, a 35-year-old woman, delivered a full-term stillborn baby in Santa Monica,

    Medlogs - Recent stories

  • Since January, a majority of dolphins washing up have been small and in some cases apparently stillborn, which is unusual so early in the year, Ms. Mase says.

    BP Spill's Next Major Phase: Wrangling Over Toll on Gulf

  • Or rather the moo and cry: Transportation Alternatives, an advocacy group that favors walking and bicycling, protested what it perceived as Mayor Giuliani's brutality toward pedestrians (you might also recall his stillborn plan to punish jaywalking) by dressing up members as penned cattle and sporting signs with messages such as "Remoooove The Barriers."

    New York City's Great Barrier Grief

  • A friend of Holmes who is a collector said it is called a stillborn flag because it was never national, Holmes said.

    Minot Daily News

  • In other cases, midwives have strangled baby girls to death with their umbilical chords, subsequently reporting the babies as "stillborn" so the couples will have another chance to have a male son.

    Michael Solis: China's One Child Policy in 2010

  • Another new book, Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right  by Jennifer Burns, examines Rand's natural attraction for conservatives — Alan Greenspan was a member of the Saturday-night salon she held in her New York apartment (though William F. Buckley called objectivism "stillborn" in a column he wrote when she died).

    Atlas Hugged

  • If "stillborn" status is conferred on the baby, it's a convenient way for the medical system not to have to care for the patient.

    More details on coding late-term abortions in Canada

  • At any rate, the work on Hume emerged as a study of a single enlightenment literary career, a series of readings of philosophical, autobiographical, and epistolary texts, understood as something like the surplus value that the capital of the "stillborn" Treatise of Human Nature produced.

    Site One: A Romantic Education.


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