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[koo-vahd; French koo-vad] /kuˈvɑd; French kuˈvad/
a practice among some peoples, as the Basques of Spain, in which a man, immediately preceding the birth of his child, takes to his bed in an enactment of the birth experience and subjects himself to various taboos usually associated with pregnancy.
1860-65; < French (now obsolete), literally, a hatching, sitting on eggs, equivalent to couv(er) to hatch (< Latin cubāre to lie down) + -ade -ade1; cf. covey Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for couvade
  • Western medicine has tended to see the couvade as a medical syndrome or pathology.
British Dictionary definitions for couvade


/kuːˈvɑːd; French kuvad/
(anthropol) a custom in certain cultures of treating the husband of a woman giving birth as if he were bearing the child
Word Origin
C19: from French, from couver to hatch, from Latin cubāre to lie down
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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couvade in Medicine

couvade cou·vade (kōō-väd')
A practice in certain non-Western cultures in which the husband of a woman in labor takes to his bed as though he were bearing the child.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for couvade

(from French couver "to hatch") ritual behaviour undertaken, usually by a man, during or around the birth of a child. Historically, couvade has been poorly defined; it has encompassed practices that are quite divergent in terms of timing, participants, activity, and cause

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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