Definition of maternal in English:



  • 1Relating to a mother, especially during pregnancy or shortly after childbirth.

    ‘maternal care’
    • ‘Untreated maternal depression, on the other hand, may have an adverse effect on development.’
    • ‘We have the highest standard of maternal care and that's something to be proud of.’
    • ‘First is the inherent colinearity between maternal smoking in pregnancy and childhood.’
    • ‘There was no evidence to show an effect of maternal or paternal age on the frequency of nondisjunction.’
    • ‘It is not known if maternal depression is associated with failure to thrive.’
    • ‘When test results are negative, it may help reduce maternal anxiety earlier.’
    • ‘We therefore included only the controls matched for maternal age, infant sex, and parity.’
    • ‘In addition, the female fetus itself influenced the course of maternal asthma through pregnancy.’
    • ‘Adjustment for maternal age did not alter the results.’
    • ‘Such modelling takes account of the maternal age distribution of the relevant population.’
    • ‘Once colic resolves, there is little lasting effect on levels of maternal anxiety or depression.’
    • ‘We know of no study of mood disorders in children that has examined maternal drinking during pregnancy.’
    • ‘Nowhere is this truer than in evaluating the impact of maternal exposures in pregnancy that may affect health of the fetus in later life.’
    • ‘There are both affective and cognitive components to maternal satisfaction.’
    • ‘The observed relation between maternal age and caesarean section cannot be explained by the obstetric complications we considered.’
    • ‘The Health center receives an average of 15 women per day for maternal care.’
    • ‘The necessity of maternal care to offspring survival is the topic of Chapter Two.’
    • ‘The importance of family planning in reducing maternal mortality is uncontroversial.’
    • ‘And then I think our maternal care is very good compared with other countries.’
    • ‘Researchers are at a loss to explain the link between maternal depression and childhood aggression.’
    on one's mother's side, on the distaff side
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    1. 1.1 (of feelings) typical of a caring mother; motherly.
      ‘a mother who radiated maternal concern’
      • ‘The portrait shows Lady Caroline's tender, maternal side, clasping her son, who died young.’
      • ‘Although I am fairly open-minded, my maternal feelings tend to rear their ugly head at this issue.’
      • ‘As was once said, maternal love is the greatest love in the world.’
      • ‘She says she felt a strong jolt of maternal love when she looked at the first picture of her ultrasound scan.’
      • ‘The greatness of maternal love has been the topic of many an immortal piece of writing.’
      • ‘If chicks are seen along with a hen, it portrays maternal love and procreation.’
      • ‘What distinguishes his recent work is an almost maternal sympathy for the perverseness of the human animal - and the twists in its fate.’
      • ‘Espying her son, now released, in the distance, she is unable to contain her maternal joy.’
      • ‘Whatever defects of character the new women may eventually acquire, lack of maternal affection will not be one of them.’
      • ‘For my friend, maternal affection is the only true expression of love.’
      • ‘My mother had been dead for over five years, and her maternal affection for me had gone with her.’
      • ‘And he knows that my dog and cat are not a substitute for maternal love.’
      • ‘So I decided to make the ultimate sacrifice at the altar of maternal love.’
      • ‘But, for women there are powerful instincts and maternal feelings at play.’
      • ‘She just couldn't seem to invoke any maternal feelings inside of herself.’
      • ‘Yes, this Catherine, his Catherine who had taught him maternal love, was his real mother.’
      • ‘The builder's costs had been funded by his mother under loans motivated by maternal affection and made in the belief that her son's claim was bona fide.’
      • ‘These experiences had a profound effect and undoubtedly stirred her powerful maternal feelings.’
      • ‘It was fear of the maternal rage that would surely follow my brother's blabbing that made me plead for mercy.’
      • ‘Different combinations of bows and sashes were arranged for inspection and I saw a glow of squishy maternal pride develop in my mother's eyes.’
      motherly, maternalistic
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    2. 1.2attributive Related through the mother's side of the family.
      ‘my maternal grandfather’
      • ‘My maternal grandfather died within two weeks of my birth.’
      • ‘I was told of a Native American on my maternal grandmother's side.’
      • ‘To what extent would that be offset by extension of the child's relationships with the maternal family and homeland?’
      • ‘Next in line is the maternal grandfather but, says the study, only because he's living with the grandmother.’
      • ‘He has reason to be concerned as his mother and grandfather on his maternal side died of a sudden heart attack in their late fifties.’
      • ‘As a child, his family lived with his maternal grandparents of whom he was very fond.’
      • ‘I'm still not exactly sure how he's related to me, but I think he was my maternal grandfather's brother.’
      • ‘I just am concerned with letting her bond with her maternal side of the family.’
      • ‘The maternal side were minor landed gentry from Lorraine with a tincture of Norman blood.’
      • ‘My maternal uncles and their families barely escaped getting killed.’
      • ‘He has been in the care of the Society and extended family members on his maternal side for different lengths of time.’
      • ‘I have gone to the trouble to make peace with my father and the rest of our family including my maternal grandfather before he died.’
      • ‘My maternal grandfather used to play piano at cinemas during silent films.’
      • ‘My parents had divorced but my maternal family was very religious.’
      • ‘I'm not sure about the maternal side of the family, but I don't think it is any further back than that.’
      • ‘My maternal grandfather died the best part of twenty years ago.’
      • ‘She's even broken her maternal family tradition by dressing in a fashionable, appealing and innovative manner.’
      • ‘He said the greatest lesson he learned from his maternal grandfather was the support he offered grieving families.’
      • ‘It is not just passed on from the maternal side of the family and may affect siblings differently.’
      • ‘My husband's maternal family can be traced back to the early archives at Fulneck, founded 1754.’


Late 15th century: from French maternel, from Latin maternus, from mater ‘mother’.