- of, pertaining to, having the qualities of, or befitting a mother: maternal instincts.
- related through a mother: his maternal aunt.
- derived from a mother: maternal genes.
Origin of maternal
Examples from the Web for maternal
Advanced maternal age dramatically increases the risk of maternal mortality as well as birth defects like Down Syndrome.Men Will Someday Have Kids Without Women
January 3, 2015
Genes passed down through the maternal side, though, were found to be a “perfect mitochondrial match.”Richard III’s DNA Shows Tudors May Have No Claim to the Throne
December 2, 2014
Some women who want to be mothers and have maternal love to give should have the ability to do just that.Have Sperm, Will Travel: The ‘Natural Inseminators’ Helping Women Avoid the Sperm Bank
November 29, 2014
There were rising export numbers, education programs, and maternal health efforts.Liberia’s Ebola Famine
Abby Haglage, Nina Strochlic
November 13, 2014
How her role became more “maternal rather than marital,” and branding Hawking an “all-powerful emperor” and “masterly puppeteer.”The Other Side of Stephen Hawking: Strippers, Aliens, and Disturbing Abuse Claims
November 6, 2014
Mary was, in many things, a child; but her attitude had grown to be maternal.
But Mary, regardless of maternal cacklings, sped after the doctor as he turned his horse.
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?The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
Unlike most maternal peoples, these, the Zuñi Indians, are monogamists.The Truth About Woman
C. Gasquoine Hartley
- of, relating to, derived from, or characteristic of a mother
- related through the mother's side of the familyhis maternal uncle
Word Origin and History for maternal
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)).
- Relating to or characteristic of a mother.
- Inherited from one's mother.