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[mid-wahyf] /ˈmɪdˌwaɪf/
noun, plural midwives
[mid-wahyvz] /ˈmɪdˌwaɪvz/ (Show IPA)
a person trained to assist women in childbirth.
a person or thing that produces or aids in producing something new or different.
verb (used with object), midwifed or midwived, midwifing or midwiving.
to assist in the birth of (a baby).
to produce or aid in producing (something new):
to midwife a new generation of computers.
1250-1300; Middle English midwif, equivalent to mid with, accompanying (Old English; cf. meta-) + wif woman (Old English wīf; see wife) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for midwife
  • They hadn't made the change, but they had helped to midwife the birth.
  • She's not a doctor, not a lactation expert, not a midwife not a scientist in any way shape or form.
  • The gentle hand of her midwife, trusting in the innate wisdom of birth.
  • So she prevailed on her midwife to induce labor while she still had insurance coverage.
  • The biggest indicator of success in this category is whether a qualified nurse, doctor or midwife is present during a birth.
British Dictionary definitions for midwife


noun (pl) -wives (-ˌwaɪvz)
a person qualified to deliver babies and to care for women before, during, and after childbirth
Word Origin
C14: from Old English mid with + wif woman
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 midwife

c.1300, "woman assisting," literally "woman who is 'with' " (the mother at birth), from Middle English mid "with" (see mid) + wif "woman" (see wife). Cognate with German Beifrau.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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midwife in Medicine

midwife mid·wife (mĭd'wīf')
n. pl. mid·wives (-wīvz')
A person, usually a woman, who is trained to assist women in childbirth. v. mid·wifed or mid·wived, mid·wif·ing or mid·wiv·ing, mid·wifes or mid·wives
To assist in the birth of a baby.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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midwife in Culture

midwife definition

A person who serves as an attendant at childbirth but is not a physician. Some midwives (called certified nurse midwives) are trained in university programs, which usually require previous education in nursing; others (called lay midwives) learn their skills through apprenticeship.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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midwife in the Bible

The two midwives mentioned in Ex. 1:15 were probably the superintendents of the whole class.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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