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


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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 In a moment of motherly instinct, Colleen Wallin bent down to check the metal hook that linked 18-year-old Ero's sled to his team of Alaskan huskies. Katie Galioto, Star Tribune, "Minnesotan joins his mom in Beargrease Marathon: 'She just told me to race my own race'," 5 Feb. 2021 From the get-go, Young stepped in to perform a handful of motherly duties with Taylor such as taking her dress shopping for school dances. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "Heather Rae Young Reveals Which of Fiancée Tarek El Moussa's Kids Took Longer to Bond With," 28 Dec. 2020 The perpetual, motherly waitresses (including Diane herself on busy days) watched my kids (now early/mid-20s) grow up one plate of pancakes at a time. oregonlive, "Readers mourn these Portland area restaurants, their homes away from home," 23 Dec. 2020 With Mother’s Day just around the corner, Pena purchased a hot press and printed motherly slogans on T-shirts., "'Shecession': COVID-19 pandemic presses down on Wisconsin women," 5 Nov. 2020 Since then, Knowles-Lawson has stated how her daughters have transformed into maternal figures themselves and often check in with her in a motherly manner. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "Tina Knowles-Lawson Credits Beyoncé and Solange for Supporting Her Throughout Her Divorce," 10 Aug. 2020 To care for him, the King family had to take over much of Keenly's motherly duties. Alaa Elassar, CNN, "Biscuits and Gravy, the kitten born with two faces, dies," 24 May 2020 In a sense, these visionaries are all of us, eager to reconnect with a motherly someone. Lauren Depino, New York Times, "The Persistence of May," 8 May 2020 Jessica Daves, Vogue’s editor in chief, is a well-spoken, well-read, and rather motherly-looking woman. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "A New Book, 1950s in Vogue, Celebrates Jessica Daves, the Magazine’s Editor from 1952-1962," 16 Dec. 2019

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

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

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Last Updated

21 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Motherly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for motherly



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

More from Merriam-Webster on motherly

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Nglish: Translation of motherly for Spanish Speakers

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