|Origin:||maternel, from Latin maternus, from mater 'mother'|
typical of the way a good mother behaves or feels [↪ paternal]:
Annie was wonderfully warm and maternal.
She seems to have a strong maternal instinct (=desire to have babies and take care of them).
2 [only before noun]MB
relating to a mother or to being a mother [↪ paternal]:
the relationship between maternal age and infant mortality
your mother's father, sister etc