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.
a term of familiar address for an old or elderly woman.
ReligionSee mother superior.
a woman exercising control, influence, or authority like that of a mother:to be a mother to someone.
the qualities characteristic of a mother, as maternal affection:It is the mother in her showing itself.
something or someone that gives rise to or exercises protecting care over something else; origin or source.
Sound Reproduction(in disc recording) a mold from which stampers are made.
Idiomsmother of all, the greatest or most notable example of:the mother of all mystery novels.
being a mother:a mother bird.
of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a mother:mother love.
derived from or as if from one's mother; native:his mother culture.
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.
to be the mother of; give origin or rise to.
to acknowledge oneself the author of; assume as one's own.
to care for or protect like a mother; act maternally toward.
to perform the tasks or duties of a female parent; act maternally:a woman with a need to mother.
bef. 900; Middle English mother, moder, Old English mōdor; cognate with Dutch moeder, German Mutter, Old Norse mōthir, Latin māter, Greek mé̄tēr, Sanskrit mātar-. As in father,th was substituted for d, possibly on the model of brother
18.See corresponding entry in Unabridged tend, nurse, mind, raise.
Microbiology, Slang Termsa 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; probably special use of mother1, but perh. another word, akin to Dutch modder dregs, Middle Low German moder swampy land; see mud
(often capital, esp as a term of address) a person's own mother
a female substituting in the function of a mother
(often capital) chieflyarchaica term of address for an old woman
motherly qualities, such as maternal affection: it appealed to the mother in her
(as modifier): mother love
(in combination): mothercraft
a female or thing that creates, nurtures, protects, etc, something
(as modifier): mother church, mother earth
a title given to certain members of female religious orders
(modifier) native or innate: mother wit
be mother ⇒ to pour the tea: I'll be mother
the mother of all … ⇒ informalthe greatest example of its kind: the mother of all parties
to give birth to or produce
to nurture, protect, etc as a mother
Etymology: Old English mōdor; compare Old Saxon mōdar, Old High German muotar, Latin māter, Greek mētēr
a stringy slime containing various bacteria that forms on the surface of liquids undergoing acetous fermentation. It can be added to wine, cider, etc to promote vinegar formation Also called:mother of vinegar
Etymology: 16th Century: perhaps from mother1, but compare Spanish madre scum, Dutch modder dregs, Middle Low German modder decaying object, mudde sludge