den mother


: a female adult leader of a Cub Scout den
also : a person seen in the role of leader or protector of a group

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web After a veteran male actor dropped out, prompting a gender swap, Margaret Cho stepped in to play worldly lesbian den mother Erin. Justin J Wee, Los Angeles Times, 21 June 2022 Joyce was the den mother of Second City theatre, in Chicago. Bob Odenkirk, The New Yorker, 21 Feb. 2022 Gertrude Stein played oracle and den mother to a burgeoning generation of writers and artists. Jeremy Lybarger, The New Republic, 7 Oct. 2021 Nancy Harman, a lead organizer with Helping El Cajon Refugees, is an unofficial den mother for those who have arrived there over the years. Irfan Khan, Los Angeles Times, 30 Aug. 2021 Gans showed up to a recent Zoom surprise birthday celebration for a green room superfan and den mother who goes by the pseudonym Jill Swellville and who, like many of the regulars, lives out of state. Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle, 16 July 2021 As a friend rather than a housewife, Hilton not only deftly sidesteps the squabbles the show is known for but also assumes the lofty role of den mother, dispensing enigmatic words of wisdom to the other cast members when the mercury started to rise. Rachel Marlowe, Vogue, 27 May 2021 When Berman got the job, Baldridge, who acted as a kind of den mother to the secretaries, called her with a pep talk. Marisa Meltzer, Town & Country, 7 Mar. 2021 Over the months, Cox had become somewhat of a den mother to the pipeline workers (welders, carpenters, and union laborers) staying at her hotel. Barnini Chakraborty, Washington Examiner, 1 Feb. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'den mother.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1936, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of den mother was in 1936

Dictionary Entries Near den mother

Cite this Entry

“Den mother.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

den mother

: a female adult leader of a Cub Scout den
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