1. The act or fact of coming into life, or of being born; generally applied to human beings; as, the birth of a son.

2. Lineage; extraction; descent; sometimes, high birth; noble extraction. "Elected without reference to birth, but solely for qualifications." (Prescott)

3. The condition to which a person is born; natural state or position; inherited disposition or tendency. "A foe by birth to Troy's unhappy name." (Dryden)

4. The act of bringing forth; as, she had two children at a birth. "At her next birth."

5. That which is born; that which is produced, whether animal or vegetable. "Poets are far rarer births that kings." (B. Jonson) "Others hatch their eggs and tend the birth till it is able to shift for itself." (Addison)

6. Origin; beginning; as, the birth of an empire. New birth, regeneration, or the commencement of a religious life.

Synonyms: Parentage, extraction, lineage, race, family.

Origin: OE. Burth, birth, AS. Beor, gebyrd, fr. Beran to bear, bring forth; akin to D. Geboorate, OHG. Burt, giburt, G. Geburt, Icel. Burr, Skr. Bhrti bearing, supporting; cf. Ir. & Gael. Beirthe born, brought forth. 92. See 1st Bear, and cf. Berth.

(01 Mar 1998)