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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce maternal (audio)

Dictionary definition of maternal

Relating to motherhood and the role of a mother, especially during pregnancy or shortly after childbirth.
"The maternal bond between the mother and her child was unbreakable."

Detailed meaning of maternal

The adjective "maternal" pertains to qualities, behaviors, or characteristics associated with motherhood or motherly love and care. When we describe someone or something as maternal, we emphasize their nurturing, protective, and compassionate nature, which is often exhibited in the context of taking care of children or those in need. Maternal instincts include providing comfort, guidance, and unconditional love, mirroring the role of a mother in a family or caregiving setting. This term conveys a sense of warmth, empathy, and a deep emotional connection, highlighting the important and nurturing role that mothers and mother figures play in fostering love and support in the lives of those they care for. Whether it's a maternal figure providing love and guidance to a child, maternal instincts guiding compassionate actions, or maternal care and affection, this adjective underscores the invaluable role of motherhood and the qualities associated with it.

Example sentences containing maternal

1. Her maternal instincts kicked in when she saw the baby crying.
2. The maternal bond between a mother and child is incredibly strong.
3. She displayed a warm and loving maternal demeanor.
4. The maternal love and care she provided were unparalleled.
5. They sought guidance from their maternal grandmother.
6. Her face lit up with a maternal smile as she held the newborn.

History and etymology of maternal

The adjective 'maternal' has its etymological roots in Latin. It is derived from the Latin word 'maternalis,' which is formed from 'mater,' meaning 'mother.' Therefore, 'maternal' is directly connected to the concept of motherhood and the role of a mother. It describes anything that pertains to the qualities, attributes, or actions associated with being a mother, especially during pregnancy or shortly after childbirth. This term emphasizes the nurturing, caring, and protective aspects often associated with motherhood. The etymology of 'maternal' underscores its historical and linguistic connection to the mother as a central figure in family life and child-rearing, making it a key term for discussions related to motherhood and the maternal role.

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Further usage examples of maternal

1. She expressed her maternal affection by hugging her children tightly.
2. The maternal instinct to protect her offspring is instinctual.
3. They inherited their maternal grandmother's beautiful eyes.
4. She felt a strong sense of maternal pride as she watched her child succeed.
5. The maternal figure in their life provided constant support and guidance.
6. They admired her maternal wisdom and gentle guidance.
7. Her maternal touch was soothing and comforting.
8. They looked to their maternal aunt as a source of advice and comfort.
9. The maternal bond between sisters was unbreakable.
10. She always put her children's needs before her own, displaying maternal selflessness.
11. They cherished the maternal advice passed down through generations.
12. Her maternal love was evident in the way she cared for others.
13. The maternal instinct to nurture and protect is universal.
14. They were grateful for the maternal role models in their life.



motherly, paternal, unparental, indifferent

Care and Nurture, Middle School 1, Family and Relationships

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