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

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 On Thursday, the HGTV host, 44, shared a series of intimate photos with wife Linda Phan, 37, from the couple's recent maternity photo shoot. Georgia Slater, PEOPLE.com, 6 May 2022 Russia drew international condemnation after a maternity hospital was bombed in the southern port city of Mariupol. New York Times, 6 May 2022 The city has seized worldwide attention as the scene of some of the worst suffering of the war, including deadly airstrikes on a maternity hospital and a theater. Yesica Fisch, Anchorage Daily News, 22 Apr. 2022 Here, find exclusive images from the couple’s intimate maternity shoot, shot by photographer Ashish Shah, and styled by Rhea Kapoor. Arushi Sinha, Vogue, 21 Mar. 2022 For their maternity photo shoot, stylist Cherie Scurry-Burns drew on the themes of Mother Earth and the Garden of Eden. Marvin Joseph, Washington Post, 27 Jan. 2022 In January alone, 447 kilograms (985 pounds) of items were rehomed — from small items like unused batteries and sake glasses to furniture, maternity clothing and toys. Washington Post, 27 Apr. 2022 The city has seized worldwide attention as the scene of some of the worst suffering of the war, including deadly airstrikes on a maternity hospital and a theater. Yesica Fisch, Anchorage Daily News, 22 Apr. 2022 The city has seized worldwide attention as the scene of some of the worst suffering of the war, including deadly airstrikes on a maternity hospital and a theater. Adam Schreck, ajc, 21 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective There are plenty of non-maternity options in flowy silhouettes that work just as well. Vogue, 1 Oct. 2021 There are plenty of non-maternity options in flowy silhouettes that work just as well. Vogue, 1 Oct. 2021 Some of the young and their mothers continue to follow the trail of blooms to a post-maternity cave in the southwestern corner of New Mexico. Janet Marinelli, Wired, 19 Feb. 2022 There are plenty of non-maternity options in flowy silhouettes that work just as well. Vogue, 1 Oct. 2021 There are plenty of non-maternity options in flowy silhouettes that work just as well. Vogue, 1 Oct. 2021 There are plenty of non-maternity options in flowy silhouettes that work just as well. Vogue, 1 Oct. 2021 Who knows how many people—if any—had broken from formality and spoken frankly to her on that or any other night to ask how a new mom post-maternity leave (one with both unique privileges and challenges) was really doing? Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, 6 Oct. 2021 There are plenty of non-maternity options in flowy silhouettes that work just as well. Vogue, 1 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near maternity

maternalize

maternity

maternity leave

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Statistics for maternity

Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Maternity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/maternity. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for maternity

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

More from Merriam-Webster on maternity

Nglish: Translation of maternity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of maternity for Arabic Speakers

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