\ˈmä, ˈmȯ \

Definition of ma 

(Entry 1 of 6)

: mother


abbreviation (1)

Definition of mA (Entry 2 of 6)



abbreviation (2)

Definition of Ma (Entry 3 of 6)

million years ago


abbreviation (3)

Definition of MA (Entry 4 of 6)

1 [ Medieval Latin magister artium ] master of arts

2 Massachusetts

3 mental age

4 Middle Ages


abbreviation (4)

Definition of M&A (Entry 5 of 6)

mergers and acquisitions


biographical name
\ˈmä \

Definition of Ma (Entry 6 of 6)

Yo-Yo 1955–     American (French-born of Chinese parents) cellist

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Synonyms for ma

Synonyms: Noun

mama (also mamma), mammy, mom, mommy, mother, old lady

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Examples of ma in a Sentence


Her ma and pa both said she can't go. I told my ma that on Mother's Day we'd be dining at the town's toniest restaurant.

Abbreviation (3)

She has an MA in English.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

With his slow-burning, honest-ma-it-wasn’t-me grin, Alden Ehrenreich, as the junior version of Han Solo in Solo: A Star Wars Story, looks more like the young Dennis Quaid than a sapling Harrison Ford. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Review: Solo Is an Uneven Star Wars Film. But It's Filled With Terrific Performances," 16 May 2018 While that dish provides a good touchstone, and shares some ingredients, suan cai yu differs by adding a sour component to the numbing tingle and spiciness, the respective ma and la signature of Sichuan cuisine. Jim Thurman, Los Angeles Magazine, "A China Chain’s Pricey Bowls of Sauerkraut Fish Soup Have Landed in the SGV," 24 May 2018 These were the sons of ma-and-pa grocery stores who had closed when Wal-Mart took over. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Can White Supremacists Unlearn Hate?," 13 Apr. 2018 Come for a lesson on the importance of male friendship and stay for Will Ferrell demanding ma’s meatloaf. Mahita Gajanan, Time, "The Best Romantic Movies You Can Watch on Netflix Right Now," 17 Jan. 2018 Outsiders think of Sichuan food as spicy hot, or la, but the more prevalent and unique characteristic of the cuisine is ma, the citrus tingle of Sichuan pepper. Ben Huberman, Longreads, "An Ode to Sichuan’s Singular Sensation," 12 Jan. 2018 Je réaffirme ma détermination absolue à lutter contre l’antisémitisme. Ajc, ajc, "Jewish widow survived Holocaust, is stabbed to death, burned in apparent hate crime," 30 Mar. 2018 Bowling is a realtime embodiment of Newton’s Second Law, known as F=ma to those of the science ilk. San Antonio Express-News, "High schoolers drawn to the bowling sciences," 25 Mar. 2018 Can anyone—your sister, your best friend, your ma—ever know the totality of you? Chicago Reader, "J.B. Pritzker's ‘African-American Thing’," 14 Feb. 2018

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

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First Known Use of ma


1829, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ma


short for mama

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Learn More about ma

Dictionary Entries near ma


M1 rifle






Statistics for ma

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ma

The first known use of ma was in 1829

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More Definitions for ma



English Language Learners Definition of ma

: a person's mother


noun, often capitalized
\ˈmä, ˈmȯ\

Kids Definition of ma

Kids Definition of MA


Medical Definition of mA 

(Entry 1 of 2)


Medical Definition of MA (Entry 2 of 2)

mental age

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Legal Definition of M&A 

mergers and acquisitions

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More from Merriam-Webster on ma

See words that rhyme with ma

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ma

Spanish Central: Translation of ma

Britannica English: Translation of ma for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ma

What made you want to look up ma? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not any or not one

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