- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for maternalism
Esmé patted the other's head with an absurd and delightful affectation of maternalism.The Clarion
Samuel Hopkins Adams
- of, relating to, derived from, or characteristic of a mother
- related through the mother's side of the familyhis maternal uncle
C15: from Medieval Latin māternālis, from Latin māternus, from māter mother
Word Origin and History for maternalism
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
- Relating to or characteristic of a mother.
- Inherited from one's mother.