Definition of Couvade

1. Noun. A custom among some peoples whereby the husband of a pregnant wife is put to bed at the time of bearing the child.

Generic synonyms: Custom, Usage, Usance

Definition of Couvade

1. n. A custom, among certain barbarous tribes, that when a woman gives birth to a child her husband takes to his bed, as if ill.

Definition of Couvade

1. Noun. A practice among some peoples, such as the Basques, of the husband of a woman in the last stages of pregnancy taking to bed, avoiding certain foods, or imitating other behaviours of a pregnant woman. ¹

2. Noun. sympathetic pregnancy: the involuntary sympathetic experience of the husband of symptoms of his wife's pregnancy, such as weight gain or morning sickness. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Couvade

1. a primitive birth ritual [n -S]

Medical Definition of Couvade

1. A primitive custom in certain cultures in which a man develops labour pains while his wife is in labour and then submits to the same postpartum purification rites and taboos. Origin: Fr. Couver, to hatch (05 Mar 2000)

Couvade Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Couvade

couvade (current term)
covalent bond
covalent bonds

Literary usage of Couvade

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. The Evolution of Marriage and of the Family by Charles Jean Marie Letourneau (1895)
"t exists in very different countries—The couvade in antiquity — The couvade in contemporary Europe— Signification of the couvade. VII. The Primitive Family. ..."

2. Publications by Folklore Society (Great Britain) (1897)
"A number of Greek proverbs have origin in the fables, and this may be similar. couvade. WHD ROUSE. The following notices of the couvade may be interesting ..."

3. The Primitive Family in Its Origin and Development by Carl Nicolai Starcke (1889)
"... of duties and privileges—Germ of development of groups—Nomenclature—Mexico—Paternal line and localized clans—The same in Peru —The couvade— ..."

4. Timehri: The Journal of the Royal Agricultural and Commercial Society of by Royal Agricultural and Commercial Society of British Guiana (1884)
"couvade.—The Professor to whose semi-belief in the possible reasonableness of couvade (Timehri p. 160 Vol. 2) as the consequence of a possible real physico- ..."

5. Report of the Annual Meeting (1892)
"Z. ' couvade.' By H. LING ROTH. Coui-ade is the name of the curious custom which orders that when a child Ls born the father takes to his sleeping corner ..."

6. Rest Days: A Study in Early Law and Morality by Hutton Webster (1916)
"The practice of the couvade appears to be an outgrowth of the idea that under special circumstances the close ties uniting husband and wife engender a ..."

7. The Scientific Bases of Faith by Joseph John Murphy (1873)
"I MENTION that extraordinary custom called the couvade, not that I think it has any special connexion with original sin, but as the best instance that I can ..."

8. The Melanesians: Studies in Their Anthropology and Folk-lore by Robert Henry Codrington (1891)
"A proper couvade has perhaps been observed in San Cristoval alone, when the young father was found lying in after the birth of his child : and it should be ..."

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