Definition of maternal in English:

maternal

adjective

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

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

Origin

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

Pronunciation

maternal

/məˈtəːn(ə)l/