\ ˈmä How to pronounce ma (audio) , ˈmȯ How to pronounce ma (audio) \

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 How to pronounce Ma (audio) \

Definition of Ma (Entry 6 of 6)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for ma

Synonyms: Noun

mama (also mamma), mammy, mater [chiefly British], mom, mommy, mother, old lady

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For ma, place pillowcase inside dress, open side down; fill with hay. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "Ma and Pa Pumpkins," 9 Sep. 2019 Shafka addrivish dozge anni ma khogaroon shiqethi mori! Adam Epstein, Quartzy, "The weirdest parts of the “Game of Thrones” finale script," 1 Aug. 2019 In Japanese, the term ma translates roughly as a gap, a space, a pause. Toby Skinner, Condé Nast Traveler, "This Japan Cruise Might Just Be the Most Stunning Thing at Sea," 27 June 2019 The house special spicy pot is one of those chaotic, throw everything in the pot creations, with ingredients like glass noodles, bean curd, lotus root, quail eggs and thick slabs of spam, all swimming in soupy ma la fire. Lauren Saria, azcentral, "Here are 3 new metro Phoenix restaurants to add your June must-try list," 21 June 2019 Sony also notes that charging is limited to a paltry 500 mA, which means that fast charging is completely out of the question. Dan Seifert, The Verge, "Sony’s 2-in-1 headphone adapter is not our USB-C savior," 24 July 2018 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of ma


1829, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ma


short for mama

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ma

Dictionary Entries near ma



M1 rifle





Statistics for ma

Last Updated

19 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ma

The first known use of ma was in 1829

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ma



English Language Learners Definition of ma

informal : a person's mother


noun, often capitalized
\ ˈmä How to pronounce ma (audio) , 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

Keep scrolling for more

Legal Definition of M&A

mergers and acquisitions

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on ma

Rhyming Dictionary: 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).


to spread over or through

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!