- 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.
- 2connected with being a mother Maternal age affects the baby's survival rate. the effects of maternal smoking during pregnancy
- 3[only before noun] related through the mother's side of the family my maternal grandfather (= my mother's father)
maternallyjump to other results
NAmE//məˈtərnəli//adverb She behaved maternally toward her students. compare paternal