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[je-stey-shuh n] /dʒɛˈsteɪ ʃən/
the process, state, or period of gestating.
Origin of gestation
1525-35; < Latin gestātiōn- (stem of gestātiō), equivalent to gestāt(us) (see gestate) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
gestational, gestative
[jes-tuh-tiv, je-stey-] /ˈdʒɛs tə tɪv, dʒɛˈsteɪ-/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for gestation


  1. the development of the embryo of a viviparous mammal, between conception and birth: about 266 days in humans, 624 days in elephants, and 63 days in cats
  2. (as modifier): gestation period
the development of an idea or plan in the mind
the period of such a development
Derived Forms
gestational, gestative (ˈdʒɛstətɪv; dʒɛˈsteɪ-) adjective
gestatory, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin gestātiō a bearing, from gestāre to bear, frequentative of gerere to carry
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gestation

1530s, "riding on horseback, etc., as a form of exercise," from Latin gestationem (nominative gestatio) "a carrying," noun of action from gestare "bear, carry, gestate," frequentative of gerere (past participle gestus) "to bear, carry, bring forth" (see gest). Meaning "action or process of carrying young in the womb" is from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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gestation in Medicine

gestation ges·ta·tion (jě-stā'shən)
The period of fetal development from conception until birth; pregnancy.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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gestation in Science
The period of time spent in the uterus between conception and birth. Gestation in humans is about nine months.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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