step·​moth·​er | \ ˈstep-ˌmə-t͟hər How to pronounce stepmother (audio) \

Definition of stepmother

: the wife of one's parent when distinct from one's natural or legal mother

Examples of stepmother in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Kyron’s stepmother, Terri Moulton Horman, took Kyron to school, where the day began with a science fair. oregonlive, "The case of Kyron Horman, Portland boy who disappeared in 2010, explored in ‘Real Life Nightmare’ TV series," 13 Nov. 2020 Effia, married off by her stepmother to a British officer, lives a life of luxury in the Cape Coast Castle, the infamous slave-trading fort that millions of Africans were trafficked through before boarding ships bound for the Americas. Jennifer Wilson, The New Republic, "Yaa Gyasi Versus the Identity Trap," 6 Nov. 2020 Gadson, whose stepmother's brother was killed by police, heard him. NBC News, "A big blue dot in a deep red state, ready for Biden," 31 Oct. 2020 Katla marries Johann and becomes Jonas’s stepmother, sparking the resentment of the boy who remains loyal to his late mother’s memory. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "The Best Horror Movies for Halloween—Without the Gore," 28 Oct. 2020 But the Lizzie Borden house, rumored to be haunted by Lizzie, her father, and her stepmother themselves, is actually a museum and library these days. Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, "These Virtual Haunted Houses Will Transform Your Own Home Into the Scariest Place Ever," 2 Oct. 2020 Danielson texted his father and stepmother often in the final months of his life, sharing his worries about the doings in Portland and the rest of the country. Bryan Denson, ProPublica, "When the Political Divide Turned Deadly in Portland," 5 Nov. 2020 After Quinette died, the diary spent about 20 years with Phelps' father and stepmother. Ben Simon St. Louis Post-dispatch, Star Tribune, "Family donates 116-year-old diary to historical society," 30 Oct. 2020 Along with Camila playing the titular role, Idina Menzel will be playing her evil stepmother and Billy Porter is the Fab G, her fairy godparent. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Everything We Know About Camila Cabello's "Cinderella" Movie," 28 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stepmother.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of stepmother

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about stepmother

Time Traveler for stepmother

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for stepmother

Last Updated

18 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stepmother.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for stepmother


How to pronounce stepmother (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of stepmother

: a woman that your father marries after his marriage to or relationship with your mother has ended


step·​moth·​er | \ ˈstep-ˌmə-t͟hər How to pronounce stepmother (audio) \

Kids Definition of stepmother

: the wife of someone's father after the death or divorce of his or her real mother

More from Merriam-Webster on stepmother

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stepmother

Nglish: Translation of stepmother for Spanish Speakers

Comments on stepmother

What made you want to look up stepmother? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!