moth·​er·​ly | \ ˈmə-t͟hər-lē How to pronounce motherly (audio) \

Definition of motherly

1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of a mother motherly advice
2 : resembling a mother : maternal

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Other Words from motherly

motherliness noun

Synonyms for motherly


maternal, mother

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Examples of motherly in a Sentence

She took her motherly duties very seriously. she showed a sweet motherly tenderness toward the tiny kitten she was taking care of

Recent Examples on the Web

But regardless of how busy Jenner has been with her motherly duties, she's managed to find time to rock some seriously festive looks. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kylie Jenner Wears Sparkly $1,640 Sandals, a Revealing Black Trench Coat, & Nothing Else," 29 Dec. 2018 Since George is wide awake (unlike Louis), Kate is using her motherly instincts to keep him calm. Alex Warner, Marie Claire, "A Body Language Expert Compares Kate Middleton with All Three Royal Babies at Their Christenings," 9 July 2018 Lillia was a mature and motherly role model for her siblings. Michael Williams,, "Dozens pay tribute to slain children at prayer service: 'Love conquers everything'," 23 June 2018 This poor child was mistaking motherly superiority with being patronizing. Sherry Kuehl, kansascity, "Mother to son: There's a vast difference between 'mansplaining' and 'momsplaining'," 26 June 2018 What’s intriguing is that the image Melania has shattered is that of the first lady she is supposed to be: regal, dignified, compassionate, motherly. Ryu Spaeth, The New Republic, "Is Melania Trump having a Britney Spears moment?," 22 June 2018 Collette is virtuosic in the role, which requires her to be motherly, depressed, and unhinged by turns. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Hereditary is the terrifying arthouse horror film of the year," 1 June 2018 Pourvasei and Assadourian stand out as the Iranian revolutionaries, whose contempt for Barb’s initially jingoistic worldview develops into increasing respect for her motherly pluck. F. Kathleen Foley,, "'Hostage' at the Skylight Theatre: a shattering slice of the Iranian crisis," 12 June 2018 At the same time, Akane is a woman with motherly instincts to protect Sakura, so there are these two conflicting dimensions to her character. Jane Hu, GQ, "The Japanese actress talks about playing a robot geisha in Shogun World.," 21 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'motherly.' 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 motherly

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for motherly

The first known use of motherly was before the 12th century

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English Language Learners Definition of motherly

: of a mother : resembling a mother : showing the affection or concern of a mother


moth·​er·​ly | \ ˈmə-t͟hər-lē How to pronounce motherly (audio) \

Kids Definition of motherly

1 : of or characteristic of a mother motherly affection
2 : like a mother a motherly nurse

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More from Merriam-Webster on motherly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with motherly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for motherly

Spanish Central: Translation of motherly

Nglish: Translation of motherly for Spanish Speakers

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incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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