mother
Pronunciation
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈmʌðə(ɹ)/, [ˈmɐðə(ɹ)]
  • (GA) IPA: /ˈmʌðɚ/
Noun

mother (plural mothers)

  1. A (human) female who has given birth to a baby
    I am visiting my mother today.
    My sister-in-law has just become a mother.
    He had something of his mother in him.
  2. A human female who parent#Verb|parents an adopted or fostered child
  3. A human female who donates a fertilized egg or donates a body cell which has resulted in a clone.
  4. A pregnant female, possibly as a shortened form of mother-to-be.
    Nutrients and oxygen obtained by the mother are conveyed to the fetus.
    • 1991, Susan Faludi, The Undeclared War Against American Women:
      The antiabortion iconography in the last decade featured the fetus but never the mother.
  5. A female parent of an animal.
    The lioness was a mother of four cubs.
  6. (figuratively) A female ancestor.
    • 1525, William Tyndale, Bible, Genesis, 3, xx:
      And Ada[Adam] called his wyfe Heua[Eve] because she was the mother of all that lyveth
  7. (figuratively) A source or origin.
    The Mediterranean was mother to many cultures and languages.
    • 1606, William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act 4, Scene 3, 1866, George Steevens (editor), The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, [http://books.google.com.au/books?id=WiE4AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA278&dq=%22It+cannot+Be+call%27d+our+mother,+but+our+grave%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=W1pOU5v2LobykAX7m4GIDQ&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22It%20cannot%20Be%20call'd%20our%20mother%2C%20but%20our%20grave%22&f=false page 278]:
      Alas, poor country: / Almost afraid to know itself! It cannot / Be call'd our mother, but our grave:
    • 1844, Thomas Arnold, Fragment on the Church, Volume 1, page 17 ↗:
      But one in the place of God and not God, is as it were a falsehood; it is the mother falsehood from which all idolatry is derived.
  8. Something that is the greatest or most significant of its kind. (See mother of all.)
    • 1991, January 17, Saddam Hussein, Broadcast on Baghdad state radio.
      The great duel, the mother of all battles has begun.
  9. (when followed by a surname) A title of respect for one's mother-in-law.
    Mother Smith, meet my cousin, Doug Jones.
  10. (figuratively) Any elderly woman, especially within a particular community.
  11. (figuratively) Any person or entity which performs mothering.
    • Judges 5:7 ↗, KJV.
      The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel.
    • Galatians 4:26 ↗, KJV.
      Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
  12. The principal piece of an astrolabe, into which the others are fixed.
  13. The female superior or head of a religious house; an abbess, etc.
  14. (obsolete) Hysterical passion; hysteria; the uterus.
    • 1665, Robert Lovel, Pambotanologia sive Enchiridion botanicum, page 484:
      T.V. dicusseth tumors and mollifieth them, helps inflammations, rising of the mother and the epilepsie being burnt.
    • 1666, Nicholas Culpeper, The English Physitian Enlarged, page 49:
      The Root hereof taken with Zedoary and Angelică, or without them, helps the rising of the Mother.
    • 1979, Thomas R. Forbes, The changing face of death in London, in Charles Webster (editor), Health, Medicine and Mortality in the Sixteenth Century (1979), page 128:
      St Botolph's parish records ascribed three deaths to 'mother', an old name for the uterus.
Synonyms Antonyms Related terms

Verb

mother (mothers, present participle mothering; past and past participle mothered)

  1. (chiefly, transitive) To give birth to or produce (as its female parent) a child. (Compare father#Verb|father.)
    • 1998, Nina Revoyr, The Necessary Hunger: A Novel, Macmillan (ISBN 9780312181420), page 101:
      Q's sister, Debbie, had mothered two kids by the time she was twenty, with neither of the fathers in sight.
    • 2010, Lynette Joseph-Bani, The Biblical Journey of Slavery: From Egypt to the Americas, AuthorHouse (ISBN 9781452009070), page 51:
      Zilpah, Leah's maid, mothered two sons for Jacob, Gad and Asher. Leah became pregnant once more and had two more sons, Issachar, and Zebulun, and a daughter, Dinah, thus Leah had seven children for Jacob.
  2. (transitive) To treat as a mother would be expected to treat her child; to nurture.
    • circa 1900 O. Henry, An Adjustment of Nature
      She had seen fewer years than any of us, but she was of such superb Evehood and simplicity that she mothered us from the beginning.
Translations Noun

mother (plural mothers)

  1. A stringy, mucilaginous or film- or membrane-like substance (consisting of acetobacters) which develops in fermenting alcoholic liquids (such as wine, or cider), and turns the alcohol into acetic acid with the help of oxygen from the air.
    pieces of mother, adding mother to vinegar
Verb

mother (mothers, present participle mothering; past and past participle mothered)

  1. (transitive) To cause to contain mother.
    mothered oil / vinegar / wine
  2. (intransitive, of an alcohol) To develop mother.
Noun

mother (plural mothers)

  1. (euphemistic, coarse, slang) Motherfucker.
  2. (euphemistic, colloquial) A striking example.
Synonyms Noun

mother (plural mothers)

  1. Alternative form of moth-er

Mother
Proper noun
  1. (dated) One's mother.
  2. A title given to a nun or a priestess.
  3. (Wicca) One of the triune goddesses of the Lady in Wicca alongside the Crone and Maiden and representing a woman older than a girlish Maiden but younger than an aged Crone.
    • 2004, Aurora Greenbough, Cathy Jewell, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Spells and Spellcraft, page 9 ↗
      The Lady is often thought of as having three aspects: Maiden, Mother, and Crone.
Synonyms Antonyms


This text is extracted from the Wiktionary and it is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license | Terms and conditions | Privacy policy 0.004
Offline English dictionary