give birth

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give birth (third-person singular simple present gives birth, present participle giving birth, simple past gave birth, past participle given birth)

  1. (intransitive, of viviparous animals) To release live offspring from the body into the environment.
    It was clear that she was about to give birth.
  2. (transitive, with to, of viviparous animals) To become the parent of by birthing.
    She gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.
    • 1988, Emily Honig, Gail Hershatter, “Divorce”, in Personal Voices: Chinese Women in the 1980's[1], Stanford, Cali.: Stanford University Press, →ISBN, →LCCN, →OCLC, page 219:
      The case of a woman named Qu Hua from Qiqihaer, Heilongjiang, illustrates this possibility. She married a worker named Xu Baocheng in 1980, and they got along very well until she gave birth to a girl. Then Xu immediately began to beat Qu, and forced her and the baby to live in a small shack.
    • 2022 June 1, Collier Jennings, “'The Orville': Everything You Need to Know Before Season 3”, in The Collider[2]:
      The rest of the Orville's crew underwent changes as well. Bortus' beliefs were challenged when he gave birth to a daughter - on Moclan society, males are the dominant species and females must undergo a mandatory sex change.
  3. (transitive, figuratively, usually with to, idiomatic) To become the source of.
    Einstein gave birth to a famous equation relating energy to mass.

Usage notes[edit]

  • To "give birth" refers to either the moment of childbirth as a point in time or to the period of labor preceding childbirth.


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