American English

Definition of maternal adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    jump to other results
  1. 1having feelings that are typical of a caring mother toward a child maternal love I'm not very maternal. She didn't have any maternal instincts.
  2. 2connected with being a mother Maternal age affects the baby's survival rate. the effects of maternal smoking during pregnancy
  3. 3[only before noun] related through the mother's side of the family my maternal grandfather (= my mother's father)
adverb She behaved maternally toward her students. compare paternal
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: maternal