mother


mother
mother1
motherless, adj.motherlessness, n.
/mudh"euhr/, n.
1. a female parent.
2. (often cap.) one's female parent.
3. a mother-in-law, stepmother, or adoptive mother.
4. a term of address for a female parent or a woman having or regarded as having the status, function, or authority of a female parent.
5. a term of familiar address for an old or elderly woman.
7. a woman exercising control, influence, or authority like that of a mother: to be a mother to someone.
8. the qualities characteristic of a mother, as maternal affection: It is the mother in her showing itself.
9. something or someone that gives rise to or exercises protecting care over something else; origin or source.
10. (in disc recording) a mold from which stampers are made.
11. mother of all, the greatest or most notable example of: the mother of all mystery novels.
adj.
12. being a mother: a mother bird.
13. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a mother: mother love.
14. derived from or as if from one's mother; native: his mother culture.
15. bearing a relation like that of a mother, as in being the origin, source, or protector: the mother company and its affiliates; the mother computer and its network of terminals.
v.t.
16. to be the mother of; give origin or rise to.
17. to acknowledge oneself the author of; assume as one's own.
18. to care for or protect like a mother; act maternally toward.
v.i.
19. to perform the tasks or duties of a female parent; act maternally: a woman with a need to mother.
[bef. 900; ME mother, moder, OE modor; c. D moeder, G Mutter, ON mothir, L mater, Gk méter, Skt matar-. As in father, th was substituted for d, possibly on the model of brother]
Syn. 18. tend, nurse, mind, raise.
mother2
/mudh"euhr/, n.
a stringy, mucilaginous substance consisting of various bacteria, esp. Mycoderma aceti, that forms on the surface of a fermenting liquid and causes fermentation when added to other liquids, as in changing wine or cider to vinegar. Also called mother of vinegar.
[1530-40; prob. special use of MOTHER1, but perh. another word, akin to D modder dregs, MLG moder swampy land; see MUD]
mother3
/mudh"euhr/, n. Slang (vulgar).
1. motherfucker.
2. a person or thing that is very large, powerful, or impressive.
[1945-50; euphemistic shortening]

* * *

(as used in expressions)
Mother Jones
Mother's Day and Father's Day
Mother Seton
Teresa of Calcutta Blessed Mother

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

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