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

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

It's believed that Meghan is on maternity leave, but Harry's paternity leave plans are less clear. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "When It Comes to Paternity Leave, Prince Harry Will Reportedly Follow in Prince William's Footsteps," 28 Apr. 2019 The crew took care of Claire, while a Dutch doctor, Wym Bakker, en route home from providing maternity care in Ghana, took charge of the birth. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "What Happens to Babies Born on Planes," 26 Oct. 2018 The organization invests an impressive 89 percent of its funds in programming, which improves maternity-care access and educates the public about maternal health. Jessica Chia, Allure, "How to Tell If a Beauty Brand's Philanthropic Initiatives Are Just Smoke and Mirrors," 27 July 2018 Insurers were also freer to offer plans that didn’t cover benefits women specifically would need, like maternity care. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Why Trump’s attacks on preexisting conditions are an attack on women," 26 July 2018 Basically, no men or women past childbearing age would purchase maternity care insurance. Erica Pishdadian, Marie Claire, "Republicans Want to Cut Maternity Care, Newborn Care, and Pretty Much Everything Else from Your Insurance Coverage," 23 Mar. 2017 As a law partner at New York's Boies, Schiller & Flexner (yes, the same that has represented Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos), Kirsten Gillibrand realized the firm didn't have a maternity leave policy. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Women Candidates Have Fun Hobbies Too, They Just Don't Get to Talk About Them," 4 Apr. 2019 According to The Daily Mail, Archer is currently on maternity leave. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Has Hired a Former Fashion Editor to Revamp Her Wardrobe," 30 Mar. 2019 For the night out, Meghan wore a navy blue Victoria Beckham coat paired with Hatch maternity denim, and velvet Tamara Mellon boots. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Steps Out in NYC in a Victoria Beckham Coat and Hatch Jeans," 20 Feb. 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

11 May 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 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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