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 To cherish the memories of these precious and fleeting nine months, the artist took some gorgeous photos during a recent maternity shoot. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "City Girls Rapper Yung Miami Looked So Angelic In Her Last Maternity Shoot," 17 Sep. 2019 The maternity center bars patients’ families from the facility. David Zucchino, New York Times, "At a Maternity Center Near a War Zone, 20 Births in One Day," 12 Sep. 2019 Davis, who barely missed a home run, came to the plate just 2 for 21 since coming off maternity leave a week earlier. Jeff Faraudo, The Mercury News, "Sean Manaea dominant, A’s win again," 8 Sep. 2019 Could Ashley Graham's maternity style get any sexier? Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Ashley Graham Slays in a Feathered Naked Dress at BAZAAR ICONS," 7 Sep. 2019 Taylor is credited with bringing several new programs and services to the Catholic hospital, including a heart and vascular research institute, a neuroscience institute, a maternity unit and a women’s center. Lois K. Solomon, sun-sentinel.com, "Patrick Taylor, longtime leader at Holy Cross Hospital, will leave Oct. 30," 6 Sep. 2019 But because her usual Hoda & Jenna co-host, Jenna Bush Hager, is out on her own maternity leave, Hoda was instead joined during the fourth hour by fellow Today anchor Natalie Morales and journalist Maria Shriver. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "'Today' Show Fans Speak Out About Maria Shriver Co-Hosting With Hoda Kotb," 6 Sep. 2019 More comfortable bedding and large maternity pillows are permitted. Angie Leventis Lourgos, chicagotribune.com, "Pregnant behind bars: A downstate prison opens a special wing for mothers-to-be and postpartum inmates," 2 Sep. 2019 Finding cute maternity clothes is a serious struggle though, especially for your 9-to-5. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "J.Crew x HATCH Release a Maternity-Friendly Workwear Collection," 14 Aug. 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

26 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for maternity

The first known use of maternity was in 1611

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More Definitions for maternity

maternity

noun
How to pronounce maternity (audio)

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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