Meaning of BIRTH in English

birth S2 W2 /bɜːθ $ bɜːrθ/ BrE AmE noun

[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old Norse ; Origin: byrth ]

1 . give birth (to somebody) if a woman gives birth, she produces a baby from her body:

Patsy was celebrating last night after giving birth to twins.

2 . [uncountable and countable] the time when a baby comes out of its mother’s body:

Congratulations on the birth of your daughter!

He only weighed 2 kilos at birth.

Henry has been blind from birth.

What’s your date of birth?

The exact place of birth is not recorded.

They believe that the position of the planets at the time of birth determines the fate of the individual.

More and more women are choosing to have home births.

Smoking in pregnancy has been linked to premature birth.

the association between birth weight and blood pressure

The drug was found to cause serious birth defects.

3 . [singular] the time when something new starts to exist

birth of

the birth of a nation

The film gave birth to a TV show of the same name.

4 . [uncountable] the character, language, social position etc that you have because of the family or country you come from:

a woman of noble birth

French/German etc by birth

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COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)

■ phrases

▪ sb’s date of birth especially British English , sb’s birth date especially American English (=the day, month and year you were born)

Please give your name, address, and date of birth.

▪ sb’s place/country of birth

I wanted to find out my father’s place of birth.

■ birth +NOUN

▪ birth weight (=a baby’s weight when it is born)

Many factors may affect a baby’s birth weight.

▪ a birth certificate (=an official document showing when and where you were born)

▪ the birth rate (=the number of babies born somewhere)

The country’s birth rate has decreased dramatically.

▪ a birth defect (=something wrong with a baby when it is born)

About 11% of babies have birth defects.


▪ a premature birth (=when a baby is born before the normal time)

Many babies survive premature births.

▪ a multiple birth (=when a woman has two or more babies at the same time)

The chance of a multiple birth is about 1 in 100 for the average woman.

▪ a home birth (=when a woman gives birth at home, not in a hospital)

I decided I wanted a home birth for my second child.

• • •


▪ beginning the first part of something such as a story, event, or period of time:

The beginning of the movie is very violent.


Let’s go back to the beginning.

▪ start the beginning of something, or the way something begins:

Tomorrow marks the start of the presidential election campaign.


It was not a good start to the day.


The runners lined up for the start of the race.

▪ commencement formal the beginning of something – used especially in official contexts:

the commencement of the academic year


the commencement of the contract

▪ origin the point from which something starts to exist:

He wrote a book about the origins of the universe.


The tradition has its origins in medieval times.

▪ the onset of something the time when something bad begins, such as illness, old age, or cold weather:

the onset of winter


An active lifestyle can delay the onset of many diseases common to aging.

▪ dawn literary the beginning of an important period of time in history:

People have worshipped gods since the dawn of civilization.

▪ birth the beginning of something important that will change many people’s lives:

the birth of democracy in South Africa


the birth of the environmental movement

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.