gestation

Definitions

General English

General Science

  • noun the process of carrying offspring in the womb during pregnancy

Medical

  • noun the process of development of a baby from conception to birth in the mother’s womb

Origin & History of “gestation”

Etymologically, gestation is the period during which unborn young is ‘carried’ inside the womb. Indeed, to begin with the word meant simply ‘carrying’ in English (‘Gestacion, that is to be carried of another thing, without any travail of the body itself’, William Bullein, Bulwark of Defence Against All Sickness 1562). It comes from Latin gestātiō, a derivative of the verb gerere ‘carry, conduct oneself, act’. this has given a wide variety of words to English, including congest, digest, gerund, gesture, jester, register, and suggest (gerund (16th c.) comes from Latin gerundum, a variant of gerendum ‘carrying on’, the gerund of gerere).
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