Definition of mama in English:


(also mamma)


  • 1North American dated One's mother (especially as a child's term)

    [as name] ‘come and meet Mama’
    • ‘I found Mama sitting next to Papa's bed and Jeanette listening to the radio.’
    • ‘I'm sure both Mama and Papa will be very proud of you, Fenius.’
    • ‘My papa was walking to the midwife to get my mama's painkillers, because she was pregnant and was very sore.’
    • ‘The mamas and papas did not have to just watch their children have all the fun.’
    • ‘She would be strong for her mama, and her papa, who stood unmoving now.’
    • ‘I decided to fix a big pot of my mama's homemade kitchen sink soup.’
    • ‘When my mom died, I got my mama's glasses, and they're very, very precious to me.’
    • ‘I couldn't believe that my mama and papa, so brave, were scared of a man I didn't know anything about.’
    • ‘Papa and Mama were running around doing and getting things for Lise, and Lise was bandaging Lars' arms.’
    • ‘James Gandolfini plays Tom, the father of the household, and Catherine O'Hara is Christine, the mama to Tom's papa.’
    • ‘I live in Chile, South America, with my mama, papa.’
    • ‘And he meets some other kids, and those kids have two mamas or two papas.’
    • ‘She's not, you know, weaned from her mama yet, and she's not even eating food yet.’
    • ‘I thought it would make their mama happy, laying there beside of them, to watch us play.’
    • ‘I fought back the tears to be strong for my mama, but could barely hold it in.’
    • ‘My mama died when I was born and my papa died a few years ago.’
    • ‘When we reached our cart, Papa and Mama were saying goodbye and trying to get everything loaded in.’
    • ‘Ever homebound I dashed; I only wanted to hear the praise of my mama and papa.’
    • ‘I took no time to open it and when I did I looked to my mamma, then papa, then Johnnie, Cody and Angel.’
    • ‘He does seem to be very, very attracted to tall, long-stemmed blondes, not unlike his pretty mama.’
  • 2US informal A mature woman.

    ‘the ultimate tough blues mama’
    • ‘Escape urban gridlock in West Virginia, where country roads and mountain mamas are only a fraction of the attraction’
    • ‘We have been devouring cakes baked by young ladies and old mamas.’
    • ‘Sorry, would-be martyrs, we do not censor your favorite sites from comments, unless you're into mature mamas or something.’
    • ‘Formidable mammas kept a watch out for grooms with purses (over personality).’


Mid 16th century: imitative of a child's first syllables ma, ma.