Origin: F. Nativite, L. Nativitas. See Native, and cf. Naivete.

1. The coming into life or into the world; birth; also, the circumstances attending birth, as time, place, manner, etc. "I have served him from the hour of my nativity." (Shak) "Thou hast left . The land of thy nativity." (Ruth II. 11) "These in their dark nativity the deep Shall yield us, pregnant with infernal flame." (Milton)

2. A picture representing or symbolizing the early infancy of Christ. The simplest form is the babe in a rude cradle, and the heads of an ox and an ass to express the stable in which he was born.

3. <astronomy> A representation of the positions of the heavenly bodies as the moment of one's birth, supposed to indicate his future destinies; a horoscope. The Nativity, the birth or birthday of Christ; Christmas day.

<astronomy> To cast, or calculate, one's nativity, to find out and represent the position of the heavenly bodies at the time of one's birth.

(01 Mar 1998)