noun, plural mid·wives [mid-wahyvz] /ˈmɪdˌwaɪvz/.

  1. a person trained to assist women in childbirth.
  2. a person or thing that produces or aids in producing something new or different.

verb (used with object), mid·wifed or mid·wived, mid·wif·ing or mid·wiv·ing.

  1. to assist in the birth of (a baby).
  2. to produce or aid in producing (something new): to midwife a new generation of computers.

noun plural -wives (-ˌwaɪvz)

  1. a person qualified to deliver babies and to care for women before, during, and after childbirth

n.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. n. pl. mid•wives (-wīvz′)

  1. A person, usually a woman, who is trained to assist women in childbirth.


  1. To assist in the birth of a baby.

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.

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