Twin girls with their mother.
An example of a mother is a woman who has just given birth to twins.
- (born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu) 1910-97; Rom. Catholic missionary in India, born in Skopje, Albania (now in the country Macedonia)
- (1515-82); Sp. Carmelite nun: her day is Oct. 12called Teresa of Ávi·la
- a woman who has borne a child; esp., a woman as she is related to her child or children
- a stepmother
- an adoptive mother
- a mother-in-law
- the female parent of an animal or plant
- that which gives birth to something, is the origin or source of something, or nurtures in the manner of a mother
- a woman having the responsibility and authority of a mother
- mother superior: used esp. as a title
- an elderly woman: used as a title of affectionate respect
- Slang motherfucker: somewhat vulgar
Origin of motherMiddle English moder ; from Old English modor, akin to German mutter ; from Indo-European an unverified form matér, mother (from source Classical Latin mater, Classical Greek m?t?r, Old Irish m?thir) ; from an unverified form ma-, echoic of baby talk
- of, like, or like that of a mother
- derived or learned from or as if from one's mother; native: English is her mother tongue
- designating a company, institution, etc. from which another or others originated: mother church
- to be the mother of; give birth to: often used fig.
- to look after or care for as a mother does
the mother of all
- mother of vinegar
- Obs. dregs
Origin of motheraltered (infl. by mother) ; from Middle Dutch moeder, akin to Middle Low German modder: for Indo-European base see mud
Origin of motherProbably alteration (influenced by mother1) of obsolete Dutch moeder, from Middle Dutch, probably from moeder, mother of children; see m&amacron;ter- in Indo-European roots.
- a. A woman who gives birth to a child.b. A woman whose egg unites with a sperm, producing an embryo.c. A woman who adopts a child.d. A woman who raises a child.
- A female parent of an animal.
- A female ancestor.
- A woman who holds a position of authority or responsibility similar to that of a mother: a den mother.
- Roman Catholic Church a. A mother superior.b. Used as a form of address for such a woman.
- A woman who creates, originates, or founds something: “the discovery of radium, which made Marie Curie mother to the Atomic Age” (Alden Whitman).
- A creative source; an origin: Philosophy is the mother of the sciences.
- Used as a title for a woman respected for her wisdom and age.
- Maternal love and tenderness: brought out the mother in her.
- The biggest or most significant example of its kind: the mother of all battles.
- Vulgar Slang Something considered extraordinary, as in disagreeableness, size, or intensity.
- Relating to or being a mother.
- Characteristic of a mother: mother love.
- Being the source or origin: the mother church.
- Derived from or as if from one's mother; native: one's mother language.
verbmoth·ered, moth·er·ing, moth·ers
- a. To give birth to: mothered three children.b. To be the source of; create or produce: “Necessity mothered the invention of printing” (Irving Wallace).
- To act as mother to, as in nourishing and protecting.
Origin of motherMiddle English moder, mother, from Old English m&omacron;dor; see m&amacron;ter- in Indo-European roots. N., sense 10, translation of Iraqi Arabic 'umm. N., sense 11, short for motherfucker.
- A (human) female who (a) parents a child (b) gives birth to a baby (c) donates a fertilized egg or (d) donates a body cell which has resulted in a clone. Sometimes used in reference to a pregnant female, possibly as a shortened form of mother-to-be (c).
- (a) I am visiting my mother today.
- (b) My sister-in-law has just become a mother.
- (c) Nutrients and oxygen obtained by the mother are conveyed to the fetus.
- 1991, Susan Faludi, The Undeclared War Against American Women
- The antiabortion iconography in the last decade featured the fetus but never the mother.
- A female parent of an animal.
- The lioness was a mother of four cubs.
- (figuratively) A female ancestor.
- (figuratively) A source or origin, viewed affectionately.
- The Mediterranean was mother to many cultures and languages.
- (when followed by a surname) A title of respect for one's mother-in-law.
- Mother Smith, meet my cousin, Doug Jones.
- (figuratively) Any elderly woman, especially within a particular community.
- (figuratively) Any person or entity which performs mothering.
- A film or membrane which is developed on the surface of fermented alcoholic liquids, such as vinegar, wine, etc., and acts as a means of conveying the oxygen of the air to the alcohol and other combustible principles of the liquid, thus leading to their oxidation.
- The principal piece of an astrolabe, into which the others are fixed.
- The female superior or head of a religious house; an abbess, etc.
(third-person singular simple present mothers, present participle mothering, simple past and past participle mothered)
- To treat as a mother would be expected to treat her child; to nurture.
From Middle English moder, from Old English mÅdor, from Proto-Germanic *mÅdÄ“r (compare West Frisian moer, Saterland Frisian Muur, Dutch moeder, German Mutter, Danish moder), from Proto-Indo-European *mÃ©hâ‚‚tÄ“r (compare Irish mÃ¡thair, Latin mater, Albanian motÃ«r (“sister"), Tocharian A mÄcar, B mÄcer, Lithuanian mÃ³tÄ—, Russian Ð¼Ð°Ñ‚ÑŒ (mat'), Greek Î¼Î·Ï„ÎÏÎ± (mitÃ©ra), Armenian Õ´Õ¡ÕµÖ€ (mayr), Persian Ù…Ø§Ø¯Ø± (mÃ¢dar), Sanskrit à¤®à¤¾à¤¤à¥ƒ (mÄÌtá¹›)).
- Something that is the greatest or most significant of its kind.
- "The great duel, the mother of all battles has begun." "” Saddam Hussein
Calque of Arabic Ø£Ù… ('umm, “mother").
- (euphemistic, vulgar, slang) Motherfucker.
- (euphemistic, colloquial) A striking example.
Shortened from motherfucker
- (nonstandard) A cat that catches moths.
Because of the spelling mother, the alternative hyphenated spelling moth-er may be used to avoid ambiguity.