noun ma·ter·ni·ty \mə-ˈtər-nə-tē\

: the state of being a mother

plural ma·ter·ni·ties

Full Definition of MATERNITY

a :  the quality or state of being a mother :  motherhood
b :  the qualities of a mother :  motherliness
:  a hospital facility designed for the care of women before and during childbirth and for the care of newborn babies

Examples of MATERNITY

  1. <she had such maternity at such a young age that all her classmates went to her for comfort>

First Known Use of MATERNITY




: designed to be worn by a woman who is pregnant

: relating to the time when a woman gives birth to a baby

—used to refer to an area in a hospital where women who are giving birth to babies are cared for

Full Definition of MATERNITY

:  designed for wear during pregnancy <a maternity dress>
:  effective for the period close to and including childbirth <maternity leave>

First Known Use of MATERNITY


Rhymes with MATERNITY

MATERNITIES Defined for Kids


noun ma·ter·ni·ty \mə-ˈtər-nə-tē\

Definition of MATERNITY for Kids

:  the state of being a mother

Word Root of MATERNITY

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.


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