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mother-in-law

[ muhth-er-in-law ]
/ ˈmʌð ər ɪnˌlɔ /
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noun, plural moth·ers-in-law.

the mother of one's spouse.

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Origin of mother-in-law

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English moder in lawe; see origin at mother1, in, law1; from Middle English in-lawe “in law,” i.e., “a person within the regulation and protection of the law,” based on the prohibition by Roman civil law and, later, Christian canon law, of marriages within four degrees of consanguinity, i.e., up to and including first cousins
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for mother-in-law

mother-in-law

noun plural mothers-in-law

the mother of one's wife or husband
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
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