Twin girls with their mother.
An example of a mother is a woman who has just given birth to twins.
- 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
- [oftenM-] 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
- 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 mōdor ; see māter- in Indo-European roots. N., sense 10, translation of Iraqi Arabic 'umm N., sense 11, short for motherfucker
Origin of motherProbably alteration (influenced by mother 1) of obsolete Dutch moeder from Middle Dutch probably from moeder mother of children ; see māter- in Indo-European roots.
- 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.