- The definition of maternal is something related to or characteristic of a mother, such as motherly instincts or relatives from a mother's side of the family.
- An example of maternal is rocking a baby to sleep.
- An example of maternal is your grandmother on your mother's side.
A very maternal moment.
- of, like, or characteristic of a mother or motherhood; motherly
- derived, received, or inherited from a mother
- related through the mother's side of the family: maternal grandparents
Origin of maternalMiddle English ; from Middle French maternel ; from Classical Latin maternus ; from mater, mother
- Relating to or characteristic of a mother or motherhood; motherly: maternal instinct.
- Inherited from one's mother: a maternal trait.
- Related through one's mother: my maternal uncle.
Origin of maternalMiddle English, from Old French maternel, from Medieval Latin māternālis, from Latin māternus, from māter, mother; see māter- in Indo-European roots.
(comparative more maternal, superlative most maternal)
- Of or pertaining to a mother; having the characteristics of a mother, motherly.
- His weakness seemed to bring out her maternal instincts.
- Related through the mother, or her side of the family.
- Toby is my maternal uncle.
- (anatomy, medicine) Derived from the mother as opposed to the foetus during pregnancy.
- paternal – father
maternal - Legal Definition