Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to couvade: embryopathy


A practice in certain cultures in which the husband of a woman in labor takes to his bed as though he were bearing the child.

[French, from Old French, from couver, to incubate, hatch, from Latin cubāre, to lie down on.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(kuːˈvɑːd; French kuvad)
(Anthropology & Ethnology) anthropol a custom in certain cultures of treating the husband of a woman giving birth as if he were bearing the child
[C19: from French, from couver to hatch, from Latin cubāre to lie down]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



a practice among some peoples, as the Basques, in which an expectant father takes to bed in an enactment of the birth and subjects himself to various pregnancy taboos.
[1860–65; < French (now obsolete), literally, a hatching, sitting on eggs =couv(er) to hatch (< Latin cubāre to lie down) + -ade -ade1; compare covey]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.couvade - a custom among some peoples whereby the husband of a pregnant wife is put to bed at the time of bearing the child
custom, usage, usance - accepted or habitual practice
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
(19.) Because the future father is not the only one placed in a state of taboo, Ankave practices, which resemble a couvade, may be described as rites of co-parentality, as Laura Rival wrote about the Huaroni of Amazonia (1998:631), rather than of paternity, as anthropologists have usually taken couvade to be.
Neurologists and other researchers from Europe and the US discuss Ganser syndrome; Cotard syndrome; Capgras syndrome and other delusional misidentification syndromes; De Clerambault syndrome, Othello syndrome, Folie C deux, and variants; Couvade syndrome; possessions; conversion, factitious disorder, and malingering; Munchausen syndrome; camptocormia; glossolalia and aphasia; violent behavior; culture-specific hyperstartle-plus syndromes; the dancing manias or mass psychogenic illness; and the Alice-in-Wonderland syndrome.
However, some of the less common ones retain the pronunciation of -ade as -ahd, such as ballade, aubade, roulade and couvade, giving a definitely borrowed feel to them.
And their suspicions that Harry might have been suffering from Couvade Syndrome - known as sympathetic pregnancy - was confirmed after they visited their GP.
Following an internet search, the couple thought Harry might be suffering from Couvade syndrome, known as sympathetic pregnancy - which was confirmed after a visit to their GP.
First, news of a pregnancy may invoke feelings of euphoria, pride, anxiety, and in some cases, a phenomenon known as "couvade" in which the male partner experiences pregnancy symptoms similar to those of the female partner such as nausea, vomiting, and weight gain.