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[Middle English, from Old Norse byrth; akin to Old English beran Date: 13th century

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b : the act or process of bringing forth young from the womb
  • 2 : a state resulting from being born especially at a particular time or place <a Southerner by birth>
  • 3 a : lineage, extraction <marriage between equals in birth>
b : high or noble birth
  • 4 a archaic : one that is born
b : beginning, start <the birth of an idea>


Birth (calving in livestock and some other animals, whelping in carnivorous mammals) is the act or process of bearing or bringing forth offspring . The offspring is brought forth from the mother. Different forms of birth are oviparity, vivipary or ovovivipary.

The term birth is used metaphorically to refer to a beginning, especially of a natural phenomenon, one that is impressive in its scope or complexity, or one that is viewed favorably.