E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Midwife (Anglo-Saxon, mid, with; wif, woman).
The nurse who is with the mother in her labour.
Midwife of mens thoughts. So Socrats termed himself; and, as Mr. Grote observes, No other man ever struck out of others so many sparks to set light to original thought. Out of his intellectual school sprang Plato and the Dialectic system; Euclid and the Megaric; Aristippos and the Cyrenaic; Antisthns and the Cynic; and his influence on the mind was never equalled by any teacher but One, of whom it was said, Never man spake like this man.