a woman who has borne offspring; a female parent.
Often Mother . one’s own female parent: I should give Mother a call today.Our mother did not approve of many of the shenanigans we got up to.
a mother-in-law, stepmother, foster mother, female adoptive parent, or female guardian.
Usually Mother . a term of address for a female parent or a woman having or regarded as having the status, function, or authority of a female parent: Thank you for coming, Mother.
a woman providing care or exercising influence or authority like that of a female parent: The elderly widow next door was a mother to him.
the qualities characteristic of a mother, such as maternal affection, protectiveness, responsibility, etc.: Sometimes the mother in her comes out and she'll remind her students to drive safely.
something that gives rise to something else; origin or source: Imagination is the mother of possibility.
a woman who originates or creates something:Marie Curie was the mother of radiography.
Usually Mother .Ecclesiastical. a title of respect for certain female church leaders, such as heads of convents, bishops, or priests.: See also mother superior.
Mother, a title for something personified as an older woman: Mother Earth.
a term of familiar address for an old or elderly woman.
Slang. a euphemism for motherfucker.
Audio. (in disk recording) a mold from which stampers are made.
being a female parent: I watched as the mother bird fed her baby.
of, relating to, or characteristic of a mother: mother love.
learned or acquired from or as if from one's mother; native: After emigrating, he never really abandoned his mother culture.
bearing a relation like that of a mother, as in being the origin, source, leader, protector, etc.: The mother company issues directives to all its affiliates.The server is the mother computer for the whole network.
to be the mother, origin, or source of: She mothered two children.
to care for or protect like a mother; act maternally toward, sometimes in an excessive way: It’s in her nature to love and mother those around her.Stop mothering me!
to acknowledge oneself the author of; assume as one's own.
to perform the tasks or duties of a female parent, sometimes in an excessive way; act maternally: She’s always wanted to mother.
Idioms about mother
mother of all, the greatest or most notable example of: Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap has been called the mother of all mystery novels.
- moth·er·less, adjective
- moth·er·less·ness, noun
- moth·er·like, adjective
- un·moth·ered, adjective
Other definitions for mother (2 of 2)
a stringy, mucilaginous substance consisting of various bacteria, especially Acetobacter aceti, that forms on the surface of a fermenting liquid and converts ethanol to acetic acid, as in changing wine or cider to vinegar.
- Also called mother of vinegar .
- See also SCOBY.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
How to use mother in a sentence
Though a mother of a US citizen who had lived in the US for decades would typically be able to apply for deportation relief, Binam’s conviction and plea deal made her ineligible.A woman in ICE detention says her fallopian tube was removed without her consent | Nicole Narea | September 17, 2020 | Vox
In one spot, a mother in Texas shares the story of her son who has leukemia.Trump contradicts CDC director on vaccine; Biden says Americans shouldn’t trust Trump | Colby Itkowitz, Felicia Sonmez, John Wagner | September 16, 2020 | Washington Post
In the same way my mother thought she knew what she would name me before I was born, I thought I knew where I would bury her before she died.
Quannah Chasing Horse Potts said Mallott never propositioned her and that neither she nor her mother spoke to Downing.The Woman Propositioned by Alaska’s Former Lieutenant Governor Tells Her Story for the First Time | by Kyle Hopkins and Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News | September 10, 2020 | ProPublica
Psychologists Don Moore, of the University of California, Berkeley, and Max Bazerman of Harvard, call it “the mother of all biases” in their textbook on decision making.Use this tool to overcome the biggest decision-making mistake | David Yanofsky | September 6, 2020 | Quartz
Taraji manages to bring an equal measure of truth to the mother in her character.‘Empire’ Review: Hip-Hop Musical Chairs with an Insane Soap Opera Twist | Judnick Mayard | January 8, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Three on-the-record stories from a family: a mother and her daughters who came from Phoenix.
But my sources, my young women and their mother, heroically held firm.
I thought about the mother, her fear of the dark, of the harm she feared might come to her daughters.
Meanwhile two kids were taken from their mother when she flew back to the UK from Turkey.Britain May Spy on Preschoolers Searching for Potential Jihadis | Nico Hines | January 7, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
There was no doubt thought of his own loss in this question: yet there was, one may hope, a germ of solicitude for the mother too.Children's Ways | James Sully
"The Smoker," and "mother and Daughter," a triptych, are two of her principal pictures.Women in the fine arts, from the Seventh Century B.C. to the Twentieth Century A.D. | Clara Erskine Clement
Now first we shall want our pupil to understand, speak, read and write the mother tongue well.The Salvaging Of Civilisation | H. G. (Herbert George) Wells
The mother's lips could not finish the charge she was about to put upon her innocent child.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4 | Jane Porter
The Authorised Version has: “And as a mother shall she meet him, and receive him as a wife married of a virgin.”Solomon and Solomonic Literature | Moncure Daniel Conway
British Dictionary definitions for mother (1 of 2)
a female who has given birth to offspring
(as modifier): a mother bird
(often capital, esp as a term of address) a person's own mother
a female substituting in the function of a mother
(often capital) mainly archaic a term of address for an old woman
motherly qualities, such as maternal affection: it appealed to the mother in her
(as modifier): mother love
(in combination): mothercraft
a female or thing that creates, nurtures, protects, etc, something
(as modifier): mother church; mother earth
a title given to certain members of female religious orders: mother superior
Christian Science God as the eternal Principle
(modifier) native or innate: mother wit
offensive, taboo, slang, mainly US short for motherfucker offensive
be mother to pour the tea: I'll be mother
the mother of all … informal the greatest example of its kind: the mother of all parties
to give birth to or produce
to nurture, protect, etc as a mother
- Related adjective: maternal
- mothering, noun
British Dictionary definitions for mother (2 of 2)
a stringy slime containing various bacteria that forms on the surface of liquids undergoing acetous fermentation. It can be added to wine, cider, etc to promote vinegar formation: Also called: mother of vinegar
- mothery, adjective
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with mother
In addition to the idiom beginning with mother
- mother of
- necessity is the mother of invention
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.