the secretion or formation of milk.
the period of milk production.

1660–70; < Late Latin lactātiōn- (stem of lactātiō) a giving suck. See lactate1, -ion

lactational, adjective
lactationally, adverb
hyperlactation, noun
overlactation, noun
superlactation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
lactation (lækˈteɪʃən)
1.  the secretion of milk from the mammary glands after parturition
2.  the period during which milk is secreted

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

1660s, "process of suckling an infant," from Fr. lactation, from L. lactationem (nom. lactatio) "a suckling," from L. lactatus, pp. of lactare "suckle," from lac (gen. lactis) "milk," from PIE base *glact- (cf. Gk. gala, gen. galaktos "milk"). Meaning "process of secreting milk from the breasts" first
recorded 1857. M.Ir. lacht, Welsh llaeth "milk" are loan words from Latin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

lactation lac·ta·tion (lāk-tā'shən)

  1. The secretion or formation of milk by the mammary glands.

  2. The period during which the mammary glands secrete milk.

lac·ta'tion·al adj.
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
lactation   (lāk-tā'shən)  Pronunciation Key 
The secretion or production of milk by the mammary glands in female mammals after giving birth.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
It may be that females need to control the limited supply to meet the
  nutritional demands of pregnancy and lactation.
They supply the mamma, and increase considerably in size during the period of
Use of psychiatric medications during pregnancy and lactation.
Among traditional hunter-gatherers the average family size was small due to
  prolonged lactation and frequent infanticide.
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