Word of The Day for Friday, February 25, 2011


na•tal•i•ty (ney-TAL-i-tee)  n

the ratio of births to the general population; the birth rate

late 15c., "birth," from natal, from late 14c., from L. natalis "pertaining to birth or origin," from natus, pp. of nasci "to be born" + -ity. Sense of "birth rate" is from 1884, from Fr. natalité

Synonyms: birthrate
Related Words: natal, neonate, nation, nature, native

Sentence Examples:
• Then the doctor went on to speak of the prolificness of wretchedness, the swarming of the lower classes. Was not the most hateful natality of all that which meant the endless increase of starvelings and social rebels? -Fruitfulness, Emile Zola

• The great southern peninsula is for the most part a highland steppe endowed with a singularly pure air and an uncontaminated soil. It breeds, consequently,a healthy population whose natality, compared to its death-rate, is unusually high; but since the peculiar conditions of its surface and climate preclude the development of its internal food-supply beyond a point long ago reached, the surplus population which rapidly accumulates within it is forced from time to time to seek its sustenance elsewhere. -The Ancient East, D. G. Hogarth

• If the mortality has any influence upon the natality this cannot be in the form of replacement of lost infants and deceased old people, therefore, as has frequently been suggested. That a high death-rate at the child-bearing age should be conducive to increased fertility is absurd, neither does it seem likely that a large number of children should make the parents more liable to diseases which are prevalent at this period of life.  -Birth Control, Halliday G. Sutherland

Sources: Free Dictionary, Online Etymology

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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