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 Poor recently had a baby and is on maternity leave. BostonGlobe.com, "The trial is set to begin in February and The Daily Leader reported that Circuit Judge David Strong signed an order Thursday to move it to neighboring Pike County, where the courtroom is larger.," 18 Nov. 2019 Last year, when Alicia and Nicholas’ group was in seventh grade, one of their teachers went on maternity leave. Ashley Mcbride, ExpressNews.com, "More high-poverty schools in San Antonio win ‘gold ribbons’," 17 Nov. 2019 Maria Shriver has been co-hosting the Today show fourth hour with Hoda Kotb while Jenna Bush Hager has been out on maternity leave. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Today' Fans Are Super Emotional Over Hoda Kotb's New Instagram With Maria Shriver," 7 Nov. 2019 These lawsuits warn against one-hundred percent policies for women returning from maternity leave and employees returning after other medical conditions. Anchorage Daily News, "Retailer must protect employee sexually harassed repeatedly by customer," 22 Oct. 2019 According to Vanity Fair, the tour marks the return of her personal assistant and stylist, Natasha Archer, who had been away on maternity leave after giving birth to her son, Theo, late last year. Kayleigh Roberts, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Channels Princess Diana's Style as She Arrives in Pakistan," 14 Oct. 2019 Carol, 38, had been on maternity leave and was to return to work that day at the Fairmont Hotel. Sam Whiting, SFChronicle.com, "The calm after the quake — for survivors, the heartbreak and heroism are still fresh," 11 Oct. 2019 But that doesn't mean it's been all smooth sailing for Schumer, who recently went back to work after being on maternity leave. Amber Brenza, Health.com, "Amy Schumer Shares Emotional Post About Going Back to Work After Giving Birth—And Moms Are Living For It," 7 Oct. 2019 The two comedians would go on to anchor Weekend Update together for two seasons (with Fey only missing two episodes at the beginning of season 31 while on maternity leave). Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "Watch Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's best Weekend Updates and other SNL moments," 2 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for maternity

Time Traveler

The first known use of maternity was in 1611

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Statistics for maternity

Last Updated

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Maternity.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/maternity?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=m&file=matern03. Accessed 9 December 2019.

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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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