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

It was previously anticipated that Kate Middleton, who is currently on maternity leave until the autumn, would not appear at the RAF celebrations, but her surprise appearance in pale blue Alexander McQueen delighted royal family fans. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Makes Surprise Appearance at RAF Centenary," 10 July 2018 Kate, who took over from Prince Philip as Honorary Air Commandant of the Air Cadets in December 2015, attended the event despite still being on maternity leave. Simon Perry, PEOPLE.com, "The Royal Fab Four Reunites! Meghan Markle Joins Harry, Will and Kate for Grand Military Service," 10 July 2018 In Ecuador, maternity leave is 12 weeks, fully paid. Jen Gann, The Cut, "Trump Would Love to Declare a Mommy War," 10 July 2018 Williams has sponsors that stood by her during her maternity leave, which is not a given. Karen Crouse, New York Times, "Mothers in Tennis Grow in Influence," 9 July 2018 Tarrant continued to receive grant money while on maternity leave. Rosanna Xia, latimes.com, "L.A. Trade-Tech administrators received $157,000 for work they failed to justify, investigation finds," 8 July 2018 For the first time since 2010, the Forbes Top 100 Highest Paid Athletes list had no female athletes – primarily because tennis star Serena Williams is on maternity leave. John Smallwood, Philly.com, "Female athletes keep plugging away in sports that don't offer big money," 5 July 2018 Her maternity style until now could best be described as fresh and casual. Elizabeth Angell, Town & Country, "Pregnant Pippa Middleton Wore Baby Blue to Her Nephew Prince Louis's Christening," 9 July 2018 The ensemble was a sophisticated addition to the younger Middleton's maternity wardrobe, which she's been showing off in recent weeks. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Pippa Middleton Channeled the Outfit Kate Wore To Her Wedding," 9 July 2018

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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Learn More about maternity

Phrases Related to maternity

maternity leave

Statistics for maternity

Last Updated

17 Aug 2018

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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