One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A mother goddess, a fertility deity, especially. Cybele. Also (in extended use): a woman of a strongly maternal or erotic disposition.
Early 18th century; earliest use found in William Congreve (1670–1729), playwright and poet. From classical Latin magna māter, māter magna great mother (title of the goddess Cybele) from magna, feminine of magnus great + māter.
magna mater/ˌmaɡnə ˈmeɪtə//ˌmaɡnə ˈmɑːtə/
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