ges·tate / ˈjeˌstāt/ • v. [tr.] carry (a fetus) in the womb from conception to birth: these individuals gestate male-based litters | [intr.] rabbits gestate for approximately twenty-eight days. ∎ [intr.] (of a fetus) undergo gestation. ∎ fig. develop (something) in the mind over a long period: a research trip he made while gestating his new book.DERIVATIVES: ges·ta·tive / jeˈstātiv; ˈjestətiv/ adj.