Definition of tiger mother in US English:

tiger mother


  • A strict or demanding mother who pushes her child or children to high levels of achievement, especially by using methods regarded as typical of childrearing in China and other parts of East Asia.

    ‘because of the number of classes her daughter attends, Lee says some people will think she's a tiger mother’
    • ‘Laziness is the greatest sin for Tiger Mothers.’
    • ‘Do these children lose out in other ways, or are the Tiger Mothers right in simply expecting more?’
    • ‘Through hard work and application, an army of Tiger Mothers will transform their children into piano geniuses at the age of four.’
    • ‘All mothers have to be tiger mothers at one time or the other.’
    • ‘My own husband was raised by a self-proclaimed Tiger Mother who is a Polish immigrant.’
    • ‘It might surprise you guys, but I used to be a tiger mother.’
    • ‘Who would want to be a Tiger Mother's kid, anyway?’
    • ‘Children brought up in an Indian home top the educational tables alongside the children of Tiger mothers.’
    • ‘Would we be better off if every mom was a Tiger Mother?’
    • ‘She professes that she is a proud Tiger Mother, owning her superiority over western parenting again and again.’
    • ‘Even the U.S. military rejects him as unfit for service when he tries to enlist to free himself from his abusive Tiger Mother.’
    • ‘She was a tiger mother, who wanted us to succeed, and she was proud that we all graduated from college.’
    • ‘For the first seven years of my parenting career, I was a Tiger Mother.’
    • ‘Not all Chinese mothers are Tiger mothers.’
    • ‘The pictures exactly capture the savagery of a Tiger Mother in full cry: a domineering powder-keg of ambition.’
    • ‘Tiger mothers and fathers may consider it tantamount to child abuse if they do not send their precious cubs for tuition.’
    • ‘Being raised by a tiger mother to me means as a child, I wasn't given the freedom to make my own decisions.’
    • ‘I'd make a terrible Tiger Mother.’
    • ‘I just think doing the bare minimum to get what you want is not the right attitude and in my new (exhausting) role as a Tiger Mother it needs to be stamped out.’
    • ‘It takes self-discipline and a lot of time to be a Tiger Mother.’


1970s (in the general sense of ‘a strict or demanding mother’): popularized as a specific concept by Amy Chua in the book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (2011).