1. the process, state, or period of gestating.


    1. the development of the embryo of a viviparous mammal, between conception and birth: about 266 days in humans, 624 days in elephants, and 63 days in cats
    2. (as modifier)gestation period
  1. the development of an idea or plan in the mind
  2. the period of such a development

1970, from gestation + -al (1). Related: Gestationally.


1530s, “riding on horseback, etc., as a form of exercise,” from Latin gestationem (nominative gestatio) “a carrying,” noun of action from gestare “bear, carry, gestate,” frequentative of gerere (past participle gestus) “to bear, carry, bring forth” (see gest). Meaning “action or process of carrying young in the womb” is from 1610s.


  1. The period of fetal development from conception until birth; pregnancy.

  1. The period of time spent in the uterus between conception and birth. Gestation in humans is about nine months.

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