maternal

If you are maternal, you are like a mother. How you define what it is to be “like a mother” is up to you, but most people think of nurturing things like chicken soup and kisses on the forehead.

The adjective maternal comes from the Latin maternus, which means “of a mother.” Many traits are labeled as maternal, including physical traits that are genetically passed on from the mother — like being color blind. A woman’s desire to have a child is called her “maternal instinct,” and if you care for other people in a nurturing way you are being maternal, even if you are not a mother. Your mother’s mother is your “maternal grandmother.”

Definitions of maternal
1

adj characteristic of a mother

“"warm maternal affection for her guest"- Dorothy Sayers”
Synonyms:
maternalistic
showing maternal instincts
motherlike
suggestive of or acting like a mother
motherly
befitting a mother; warm and nurturing
matriarchal
characteristic of a matriarchy
Antonyms:
paternal
characteristic of a father
fatherlike, fatherly
like or befitting a father or fatherhood; kind and protective
paternalistic
benevolent but sometimes intrusive
patriarchal
characteristic of a form of social organization in which the male is the family head and title is traced through the male line
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adj relating to or characteristic of or befitting a parent

Synonyms:
parental, paternal
Antonyms:
filial
relating to or characteristic of or befitting an offspring
daughterly
befitting a daughter
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adj relating to or derived from one's mother

maternal genes”

adj related on the mother's side

“my maternal grandmother”
Synonyms:
enate, enatic
related
connected by kinship, common origin, or marriage

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