[ mid-wahyf ]
/ ˈmɪdˌwaɪf /

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

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), mid·wifed or mid·wived, mid·wif·ing or mid·wiv·ing.

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

Origin of midwife

1250–1300; Middle English midwif, equivalent to mid with, accompanying (Old English; cf. meta-) + wif woman (Old English wīf; see wife)

Example sentences from the Web for midwife

British Dictionary definitions for midwife

/ (ˈmɪdˌwaɪf) /

noun plural -wives (-ˌwaɪvz)

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

Word Origin for midwife

C14: from Old English mid with + wif woman

Medical definitions for midwife

[ mĭdwīf′ ]

n. pl. mid•wives (-wīvz′)

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


To assist in the birth of a baby.

Cultural definitions for midwife


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.