[muhth-er-hoo d]
See more synonyms for motherhood on
  1. having or relating to an inherent worthiness, justness, or goodness that is obvious or unarguable: legislation pushed through on a motherhood basis.

Origin of motherhood

First recorded in 1375–1425, motherhood is from the late Middle English word moderhed. See mother1, -hood Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for motherhood

parenthood, mothership

Examples from the Web for motherhood

Contemporary Examples of motherhood

Historical Examples of motherhood

  • The hope of motherhood alternated with black fits of depression.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • She shuddered when she spoke of her marriage, and as to her motherhood, that had only caused her sorrow.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • When some women were specialized for motherhood then there were surplus women.

  • All the hope of the future rests upon this faith in motherhood.

    The Truth About Woman

    C. Gasquoine Hartley

  • Motherhood, that improves and perfects most women, has personally wrecked her.

    A Singer from the Sea

    Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

British Dictionary definitions for motherhood


  1. the state of being a mother
  2. the qualities characteristic of a mother
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

Word Origin and History for motherhood

1590s, from mother (n.1) + -hood.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper