Definition of maternal adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//məˈtɜːnl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//məˈtɜːrnl//
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  1. 1having feelings that are typical of a caring mother towards a child maternal love I'm not very maternal. She didn't have any maternal instincts. See related entries: Relations
  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)
  4. Word Originlate 15th cent.: from French maternel, from Latin maternus, from mater ‘mother’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: maternal