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1. Relating to or characteristic of a mother or motherhood; motherly: maternal instinct.
2. Inherited from one's mother: a maternal trait.
3. Related through one's mother: my maternal uncle.

[Middle English, from Old French maternel, from Medieval Latin māternālis, from Latin māternus, from māter, mother; see māter- in Indo-European roots.]

ma·ter′nal·ism n.
ma·ter′nal·ly adv.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.maternalism - the quality of having or showing the tenderness and warmth and affection of or befitting a mothermaternalism - the quality of having or showing the tenderness and warmth and affection of or befitting a mother; "the girl's motherliness made her invaluable in caring for the children"
parental quality - a quality appropriate to a parent
2.maternalism - motherly care; behavior characteristic of a mother; the practice of acting as a mother does toward her children
care, tending, attention, aid - the work of providing treatment for or attending to someone or something; "no medical care was required"; "the old car needs constant attention"
References in periodicals archive ?
In her analysis, for example, Bonifacio often refers to the strong sense of maternalism in Filipino culture that motivates women's decision to immigrate, and explores what effects values such as utang na loob ("debt of gratitude") have on Filipino women's interactions.
Since the early 1980s, and beginning with Sara Ruddick's ground-breaking work on the links between maternalism and peacebuilding (Ruddick 1989), such claims have become well-rehearsed within feminist circles.
Rather, the administrators who developed the rule, later adopted by Congress, largely reasoned in the vein of pragmatic maternalism, acknowledging that, as a practical matter, it is well known that almost invariably it is the mother who concerns herself with [the illegitimate] child.
Market libertarianism continues to privatize the costs of reproduction, while maternalism reinforces the sexual division of reproductive labor.
The idea of being a chair is a gift for good behaviour by a party leader is 19th century paternalism, or maternalism.
This idea that being a committee chair is a gift for good behaviour by the party leader is 19th century paternalism, or maternalism.
Chemistry via-a-vis maternalism in lace bugs (Heteroptera: Tingidae): Alarm pheromones and exudate defense in Corythucha and Gargaphia species.
She suggests that this organic fusion of identities and affiliations was largely a product of the congruence of suffrage, birth control, and peace work with an ideology of maternalism that motivated many Jewish activists.
30) Ann Orloff, "From Maternalism to 'Employment for All': State Policies to Promote Women's Employment across the Affluent Democracies," in The State after Statism, ed.
Mr Brady is being treated as a special case - whether that's because Ashworth has lost perspective and has been drawn into a battle or because of misplaced maternalism, it is not clear.
Second, by focusing on the contribution of first-wave feminists to the policy environment, our study sheds light on the complex and contradictory role of maternalism in both historical and contemporary social policy development.
Maternalism reconsidered; motherhood, welfare and social policy in the twentieth century.

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