|1.||a. 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|
|b. (as modifier): gestation period|
|2.||the development of an idea or plan in the mind|
|3.||the period of such a development|
|[C16: from Latin gestātiō a bearing, from gestāre to bear, frequentative of gerere to carry]|
gestation ges·ta·tion (jě-stā'shən)
The period of fetal development from conception until birth; pregnancy.
|gestation (jě-stā'shən) Pronunciation Key
The period of time spent in the uterus between conception and birth. Gestation in humans is about nine months.
in mammals, the time between conception and birth, during which the embryo or fetus is developing in the uterus. This definition raises occasional difficulties because in some species (e.g., monkeys and man) the exact time of conception may not be known. In these cases the beginning of gestation is usually dated from some well-defined point in the reproductive cycle (e.g., the beginning of the previous menstrual period)
Learn more about gestation with a free trial on Britannica.com.