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maternal

[muh-tur-nl] /məˈtɜr nl/
adjective
1.
of, pertaining to, having the qualities of, or befitting a mother:
maternal instincts.
2.
related through a mother:
his maternal aunt.
3.
derived from a mother:
maternal genes.
Origin of maternal
1475-1485
1475-85; < Medieval Latin māternālis, equivalent to Latin mātern(us) (māter mother1 + -nus adj. suffix) + -ālis -al1
Related forms
maternalism, noun
maternalistic, adjective
maternally, adverb
nonmaternal, adjective
nonmaternally, adverb
quasi-maternal, adjective
quasi-maternally, adverb
unmaternal, adjective
unmaternally, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for maternal
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mary was, in many things, a child; but her attitude had grown to be maternal.

    Tiverton Tales Alice Brown
  • But Mary, regardless of maternal cacklings, sped after the doctor as he turned his horse.

    Tiverton Tales Alice Brown
  • I have always thought that her affection for her father was less filial than maternal.

    The Fortune Hunter Louis Joseph Vance
  • Could the Madonna, who was so maternal, desire the woe of lovers?

  • Unlike most maternal peoples, these, the Zuñi Indians, are monogamists.

    The Truth About Woman C. Gasquoine Hartley
British Dictionary definitions for maternal

maternal

/məˈtɜːnəl/
adjective
1.
of, relating to, derived from, or characteristic of a mother
2.
related through the mother's side of the family: his maternal uncle
Derived Forms
maternalism, noun
maternalistic, adjective
maternally, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Medieval Latin māternālis, from Latin māternus, from māter mother
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for maternal
adj.

late 15c., from Old French maternel (14c.), from Vulgar Latin *maternalis, from Latin maternus "maternal, of a mother," from mater "mother" (see mother (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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maternal in Medicine

maternal ma·ter·nal (mə-tûr'nəl)
adj.

  1. Relating to or characteristic of a mother.

  2. Inherited from one's mother.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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