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maternal

play
adjective ma·ter·nal \mə-ˈtər-nəl\

Simple Definition of maternal

  • : of or relating to a mother

  • : of or relating to a woman who is having a baby

  • : related through the mother

Full Definition of maternal

  1. 1 :  of, relating to, belonging to, or characteristic of a mother :  motherly

  2. 2 a :  related through a mother <his maternal aunt> b :  inherited or derived from the female parent <maternal genes>

ma·ter·nal·ly play \-nəl-ē\ adverb

Examples of maternal

  1. Doctors are concerned about the effects of the drug on maternal health.

  2. <her maternal instincts told her that something was wrong>



Origin of maternal

Middle English, from Middle French & Medieval Latin; Middle French maternel, from Medieval Latin maternalis, from Latin maternus, from mater mother — more at mother


First Known Use: 15th century

Other Genetics Terms


MATERNAL Defined for Kids

maternal

play
adjective ma·ter·nal \mə-ˈtər-nəl\

Definition of maternal

  1. 1 :  of or relating to a mother <maternal instincts>

  2. 2 :  related through the mother <maternal grandparents>

ma·ter·nal·ly adverb


Word Root of maternal

The Latin word mater, meaning “mother,” gives us the root mater or matr. Anyone or anything maternal, such as a grandparent, is related through the mother's side of the family. Maternity is the state of being a mother. A matriarch is a woman who is the mother and head of a family. A matron is a married woman who may be a mother.


Medical Dictionary

maternal

play
adjective ma·ter·nal \mə-ˈtərn-əl\

Medical Definition of maternal

  1. 1:  of, relating to, belonging to, or characteristic of a mother <maternal instinct>

  2. 2a:  related through a mother <his maternal aunt>b:  inherited or derived from the female parent <maternal genes>

  3. ma·ter·nal·ly \-əl-ē\play adverb





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