From Middle English birthe (1250), from earlier burthe, burde, from Old Norse burðr, byrd (Old Swedish byrth, Swedish börd), replacing Old English gebyrd (rare variant byrþ), equivalent to bear + -th. The Old Norse is from Proto-Germanic *burdiz (compare Old Frisian berde, berd); Old English gebyrd is from prefixed *gaburdiz (compare Dutch geboorte, German Geburt), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰr̥tis (compare Latin fors (“luck”), Old Irish brith), from *bʰer- (“to carry, bear”). More at bear.
- enPR: bû(r)th
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɜː(ɹ)θ
- Homophone: berth
- (uncountable) The process of childbearing; the beginning of life.
- (countable) An instance of childbirth.
Intersex babies account for roughly one per cent of all births.
- (countable) A beginning or start; a point of origin.
the birth of an empire
- (uncountable) The circumstances of one's background, ancestry, or upbringing.
He was of noble birth, but fortune had not favored him.
(Can we date this quote?), Prescott, (Please provide the book title or journal name):
- elected without reference to birth, but solely for qualifications
- That which is born.
- Misspelling of berth.
- (beginning of life): death
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
- ^ Robert K. Barnhart, ed., Chambers Dictionary of Etymology (1988; reprint, Edinburgh: Chambers, 2008), 95.
- ^ Richard Cleasby and Gudbrand Vigfusson's 1874 Icelandic-English dictionary.
- ^ Joseph Bosworth and T. Northcote Toller's 1898 Anglo-Saxon dictionary.
birth (not comparable)
- A familial relationship established by childbirth.
- Her birth father left when she was a baby; she was raised by her mother and stepfather.
- The term give birth (to) is much more common, especially in literal use.