[ muh-tur-ni-tee ]
See synonyms for maternity on
  1. the state of being a mother; motherhood.

  2. motherly quality; motherliness.

  1. a section of a hospital devoted to the care of women at childbirth and of their newborn infants.

  1. of, relating to, or for the period in which a woman is pregnant or has just given birth to a child.

  2. for mothers during and after childbirth or for the care of their newborn babies: a maternity hospital.

  1. for wear by pregnant women: maternity clothes.

Origin of maternity

1605–15; <Medieval Latin māternitās, equivalent to Latin mātern(us) (see maternal) + -itās-ity

Other words from maternity

  • pre·ma·ter·ni·ty, noun

Words Nearby maternity Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use maternity in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for maternity


/ (məˈtɜːnɪtɪ) /

  1. motherhood

  2. the characteristics associated with motherhood; motherliness

  1. (modifier) relating to pregnant women or women at the time of childbirth: a maternity ward

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