maternity

noun
ma·​ter·​ni·​ty | \ mə-ˈtər-nə-tē How to pronounce maternity (audio) \
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

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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 It's often noted that the United States is alone among rich nations in not providing maternity leave; support for child care is likewise abysmal. Kate Washington, Star Tribune, "50 million Americans are unpaid caregivers and need help," 23 Feb. 2021 Captains Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger have spent the last two weeks on maternity leave following the adoption of their daughter, while veterans Marta and Alex Morgan have been with their national teams for the SheBelieves Cup. Julia Poe, orlandosentinel.com, "Energetic Orlando Pride attack preseason training with optimism," 19 Feb. 2021 The highest governing soccer organization is introducing a new policy to safeguard the rights of female players, namely mandatory maternity leave. Lindsey Mcginnis, The Christian Science Monitor, "Points of Progress: FIFA guarantees maternity leave, and more," 15 Jan. 2021 This week, Bindi Irwin honored her late father, Steve Irwin, by recreating a throwback maternity photo. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Pregnant Bindi Irwin Just Shared the Most Beautiful Instagram Tribute to Her Late Father Steve," 15 Jan. 2021 Rowland, who is set to give birth any day now, also had some fun modeling her cozy maternity wear. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Kelly Rowland Is Having A Blast As She Prepares To Deliver Baby #2," 15 Jan. 2021 Emily Ratajkowski is keeping the chic maternity looks coming. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "Emily Ratajkowski's Latest Chic Maternity Look Includes a Faux Fur Coat and Yellow Yeezy Boots," 12 Jan. 2021 To support them, governments provided better child care, longer school hours, and extended maternity leaves. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "Pandemic Year Two," 29 Dec. 2020 Many sought refuge in maternity clinics such as Cimigen, where the number of births doubled and the number of prenatal visits quadrupled, according to the clinic’s executive director, Marisol del Campo Martínez. New York Times, "In Mexico, Childbirth in Covid’s Shadow," 22 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective There are plenty of non-maternity options in flowy silhouettes that work just as well. Alexis Bennett, Vogue, "9 Fall Maternity Dresses to Keep in Rotation This Season," 26 Oct. 2020 With petite, plus, tall and maternity collections, Infinitely Loft embraces a range of playful and professional styles for subscribers of all sizes. Elizabeth Wolfe, NBC News, "Clothing subscription boxes and sustainability: What to know," 11 May 2020 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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Time Traveler for maternity

Time Traveler

The first known use of maternity was in 1611

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Statistics for maternity

Last Updated

4 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Maternity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/maternity. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce maternity (audio) \

Kids Definition of maternity

: the state of being a mother

maternity

noun
ma·​ter·​ni·​ty | \ mə-ˈtər-nət-ē How to pronounce maternity (audio) \
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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