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mother Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a woman who has given birth to a child (also used as a term of address to your mother)
    female parent.
    • the mother of three children
  2. noun a stringy slimy substance consisting of yeast cells and bacteria; forms during fermentation and is added to cider or wine to produce vinegar
  3. noun a term of address for an elderly woman
  4. noun a term of address for a mother superior
  5. noun a condition that is the inspiration for an activity or situation
    • necessity is the mother of invention
  6. verb care for like a mother
    overprotect; fuss.
    • She fusses over her husband
  7. verb make children
    engender; sire; get; father; bring forth; beget; generate.
    • Abraham begot Isaac
    • Men often father children but don't recognize them

Moth"er noun
OE. moder, AS. modor; akin to D. moeder, OS. modar, G. mutter, OHG. muotar, Icel. mo&edh;ir, Dan. & Sw. moder, OSlav. mati, Russ. mate, Ir. & Gael. mathair, L. mater, Gr. mh`thr, Skr. mat&rsdot;; cf. Skr. ma to measure. *268. Cf. Material, Matrix, Metropolis, Father.
  1. A female parent; especially, one of the human race; a woman who has borne a child.
  2. That which has produced or nurtured anything; source of birth or origin; generatrix.
    Alas! poor country! ... it can not Be called our mother, but our grave. Shak.
    I behold ... the solitary majesty of Crete, mother of a religion, it is said, that lived two thousand years. Landor.
  3. An old woman or matron. Familiar
  4. The female superior or head of a religious house, as an abbess, etc.
  5. Hysterical passion; hysteria. Obs. Shak.
Moth"er adjective
  1. Received by birth or from ancestors; native, natural; as, mother language; also acting the part, or having the place of a mother; producing others; originating.
    It is the mother falsehood from which all idolatry is derived. T. Arnold.
Moth"er transitive verb
imperfect & past participle Mothered ; present participle & verbal noun Mothering
  1. To adopt as a son or daughter; to perform the duties of a mother to.
    The queen, to have put lady Elizabeth besides the crown, would have mothered another body's child. Howell.
Moth"er noun
Akin to D. modder mud, G. moder mold, mud, Dan. mudder mud, and to E. mud. See Mud.
  1. A film or membrane which is developed on the surface of fermented alcoholic liquids, such as vinegar, wine, etc., and acts as a means of conveying the oxygen of the air to the alcohol and other combustible principles of the liquid, thus leading to their oxidation. ✍ The film is composed of a mass of rapidly developing microörganisms of the genus Mycoderma, and in the mother of vinegar the microörganisms (Mycoderma aceti) composing the film are the active agents in the Conversion of the alcohol into vinegar. When thickened by growth, the film may settle to the bottom of the fluid. See Acetous fermentation, under Fermentation.
Moth"er intransitive verb
  1. To become like, or full of, mother, or thick matter, as vinegar.

Webster 1913