Maternal definition

mə-tûrnəl
Related through the mother's side of the family.

Maternal grandparents.

adjective
23
6
Relating to or characteristic of a mother or motherhood; motherly.

Maternal instinct.

adjective
12
6
Related through one's mother.

My maternal uncle.

adjective
13
8
Inherited from one's mother.

A maternal trait.

adjective
9
5
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.

adjective
2
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Pertaining to one’s mother.
adjective
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0
Of or pertaining to a mother; having the characteristics of a mother, motherly.

His weakness seemed to bring out her maternal instincts.

adjective
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0
Related through the mother, or her side of the family.

Toby is my maternal uncle.

adjective
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(anatomy, medicine) Derived from the mother as opposed to the foetus during pregnancy.
adjective
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Inherited from one's mother.

A maternal trait.

adjective
4
5
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Of, like, or characteristic of a mother or motherhood; motherly.
adjective
4
5
Derived, received, or inherited from a mother.
adjective
4
5
Related through one's mother.

My maternal uncle.

adjective
4
5
Relating to or characteristic of a mother or motherhood; motherly.

Maternal instinct.

adjective
3
5

Origin of maternal

  • Middle English from Old French maternel from Medieval Latin māternālis from Latin māternus from māter mother māter- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle French maternel or post-Classical Latin māternālis (“maternal"), from māternus (“maternal"), from māter (“mother").

    From Wiktionary