Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1400-1500
Language: French
Origin: maternel, from Latin maternus, from mater 'mother'

maternal

adjective
     
Related topics: Birth
ma‧ter‧nal
1 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
3

maternal grandfather/aunt etc

your mother's father, sister etc
maternally adverb

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