maternity

noun
ma·​ter·​ni·​ty | \ mə-ˈtər-nə-tē \
plural maternities

Definition of maternity

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the quality or state of being a mother : motherhood
b : the qualities of a mother : motherliness
2 : a hospital facility designed for the care of women before and during childbirth and for the care of newborn babies

maternity

adjective

Definition of maternity (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : being or providing care during and immediately before and after childbirth maternity care a maternity unit
2 : designed for wear during pregnancy a maternity dress
3 : effective for the period close to and including childbirth maternity leave

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Synonyms for maternity

Synonyms: Noun

motherliness

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Maternity and Parts of Speech

Maternity is used as both a noun and an adjective. Maternity benefits are benefits specially provided by employers for women having babies, and usually include maternity leave, time off work. With maternity come maternal feelings, which are shown by all species of warm-blooded animals as well as a few reptiles such as crocodiles and alligators.

Examples of maternity in a Sentence

Noun

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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Hauslohner is currently on maternity leave until the Spring, and did not return our email. Rose Minutaglio, Town & Country, "Washington Post Staffers Weren't Afraid to Call Out Jeff Bezos on the Paper's Pricey Super Bowl Ad," 4 Feb. 2019 The Sunday Times reports that Meghan plans to visit each of her new patronages organizations before taking her maternity leave later this spring following the birth of her first child. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Just Arrived at Mayhew Wearing an Affordable H&M Maternity Dress," 16 Jan. 2019 The tests commonly used to determine paternity or maternity rely on a different method that provides a simple yes or no answer. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "Family DNA Testing at the Border Would Be an Ethical Quagmire," 22 June 2018 Beth Israel Deaconess is known for maternity and women’s health, among other areas. Priyanka Dayal Mccluskey, BostonGlobe.com, "In bridging cultures, Beth Israel and Lahey learn from missteps in another merger," 11 June 2018 There are no criminal penalties for companies that don’t comply with maternity or paternity leave standards. Washington Post, "Dad takes Japan Inc. to court alleging paternity harassment," 6 June 2018 To be blunt, the maternity clothing market is less than thrilling. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Meghan Markle’s Hatch Dress and 3 Other Maternity Brands That Are Actually Chic," 11 Jan. 2019 Professional photographer Samantha Bishop specializes in maternity and family lifestyle photos. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "This Grandma Posed for a Sexy Photo Shoot in a Bathtub Full of Knitting Supplies," 11 Jan. 2019 According to English, Meghan is wearing a tan trench coat by Oscar de la Renta at over £2k, earrings by Kimai, and a black dress by maternity line Hatch at £170. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Makes a Surprise Royal Visit Today in an Oscar de la Renta Trench Coat," 10 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The world’s largest maternity clothes seller has brought on Berkeley Research Group LLC, the people said. Lillian Rizzo, WSJ, "Destination Maternity Hires Adviser Amid Retail Turmoil," 23 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'maternity.' 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 maternity

Noun

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1852, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Statistics for maternity

Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for maternity

The first known use of maternity was in 1611

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More Definitions for maternity

maternity

noun

English Language Learners Definition of maternity

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the state of being a mother

maternity

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of maternity (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

maternity

noun
ma·​ter·​ni·​ty | \ mə-ˈtər-nə-tē \

Kids Definition of maternity

: the state of being a mother

maternity

noun
ma·​ter·​ni·​ty | \ mə-ˈtər-nət-ē \
plural maternities

Medical Definition of maternity

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a hospital facility designed for the care of women before and during childbirth and for the care of newborn babies

maternity

adjective

Medical Definition of maternity (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : being or providing care during and immediately before and after childbirth maternity care a maternity unit
2 : designed for wear during pregnancy maternity clothes
3 : effective for the period close to and including childbirth maternity leave

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Comments on maternity

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