- Anatomy, Zoology. a structure, characteristic of mammals, that comprises one or more mammary glands with an associated nipple or teat, usually rudimentary unless developed and activated for the secretion of milk in the female after the birth of young.
- Meteorology. (used with a plural verb) hanging, breastlike protuberances on the under surface of a cloud.
Origin of mamma2
- Informal. mother1.
- a sexually attractive, usually mature woman.
- one's wife.
Origin of mama
Examples from the Web for mammae
Eight mammae are evident and show the animal to have been nursing young.
Seven mammae are evident and show the animal to have been nursing young.
The pouch opens backwards, and there are six or eight mammae.
The mammae are thoracic; the placenta discoidal and deciduate.
There are four mammae, two on the breast and two upon the abdomen.
- old-fashioned an informal word for mother 1
- Also: momma (ˈmɑːmə, məˈmɑː) another word for mother 1
- (ˈmɑːmə) informal a buxom and voluptuous woman
- the milk-secreting organ of female mammals: the breast in women, the udder in cows, sheep, etc
- (functioning as plural) breast-shaped protuberances, esp from the base of cumulonimbus clouds
Word Origin and History for mammae
1707, spelling variant of mamma. Meaning "sexually attractive woman" first recorded 1925 in black slang; mama's boy "soft, effeminate male" is from 1901.
1570s, representing the native form of the reduplication of *ma- that is nearly universal among the Indo-European languages (cf. Greek mamme "mother, grandmother," Latin mamma, Persian mama, Russian and Lithuanian mama "mother," German Muhme "mother's sister," French maman, Welsh mam "mother"). Probably a natural sound in baby-talk, perhaps imitative of sound made while sucking.
Its late appearance in English is curious, but Middle English had mome (mid-13c.) "an aunt; an old woman," also an affectionate term of address for an older woman. In educated usage, the stress is always on the last syllable. In terms of recorded usage of related words in English, mama is from 1707, mum is from 1823, mummy in this sense from 1839, mommy 1844, momma 1852, and mom 1867.
- A mammary gland.