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maternal

[muh-tur-nl]
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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

1475–85; < Medieval Latin māternālis, equivalent to Latin mātern(us) (māter mother1 + -nus adj. suffix) + -ālis -al1
Related formsma·ter·nal·ism, nounma·ter·nal·is·tic, adjectivema·ter·nal·ly, adverbnon·ma·ter·nal, adjectivenon·ma·ter·nal·ly, adverbqua·si-ma·ter·nal, adjectivequa·si-ma·ter·nal·ly, adverbun·ma·ter·nal, adjectiveun·ma·ter·nal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for maternally

Historical Examples

  • Miss Trevor clasped him close to her and kissed him maternally.

    Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1909 to 1922

    Lucy Maud Montgomery

  • She gave him a watering-pot, and watched him maternally; but did not put a hand to it.

    A Simpleton

    Charles Reade

  • "We'll never get that back on the roof, my dear boy," Alix said maternally.

    Sisters

    Kathleen Norris

  • Terry Landry asked, patting Sim maternally on her fair head.

  • Where she had meant to be maternally peremptory she became querulous.

    Coquette

    Frank Swinnerton


British Dictionary definitions for maternally

maternal

adjective
  1. of, relating to, derived from, or characteristic of a mother
  2. related through the mother's side of the familyhis maternal uncle
Derived Formsmaternalism, nounmaternalistic, adjectivematernally, 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

Word Origin and History for maternally

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

maternally in Medicine

maternal

(mə-tûrnəl)
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.