the process, state, or period of gestating.

1525–35; < Latin gestātiōn- (stem of gestātiō), equivalent to gestāt(us) (see gestate) + -iōn- -ion

gestational, gestative [jes-tuh-tiv, je-stey-] , adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gestation (dʒɛˈsteɪʃən)
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]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1533, "riding on horseback, etc., as a form of exercise," from L. gestationem (nom. gestatio) "a carrying," from gestare "bear, carry, gestate," freq. of gerere (pp. gestus) "to bear, carry, bring forth." Meaning "action or process of carrying young in the womb" is from 1615.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


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)

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The resulting embryo then descends into the uterus and attaches itself for
Translation: expensive publicity for an idea that was already in gestation.
We don't suddenly become human at some point during gestation.
Each canvas represented a long, morose gestation spent in solitary thought.
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