Advertisement - Continue reading below

Definition of "maternal" []

  • Relating to or characteristic of a mother or motherhood; motherly: maternal instinct. (adjective)
  • Inherited from one's mother: a maternal trait. (adjective)
  • Related through one's mother: my maternal uncle. (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "maternal" in a sentence
  • "IV. ii.35 (435,9) From her maternal sap] [W: material] I suppose no reader doubts but the word should be _maternal_."
  • "This, my friends, is what they call maternal instinct."
  • "If the grizzlies are united by an anti-establishment fury rooted in maternal concern, then it's fair to ask what their records show they've done for kids."