[mah-muh, muh-mah] /ˈmɑ mə, məˈmɑ/

[mam-uh] /ˈmæm ə/
noun, plural mammae
[mam-ee] /ˈmæm i/ (Show IPA), for 1; mamma for 2.
Anatomy, Zoology. a structure, characteristic of mammals, that comprises one or more glands with an associated nipple or teat, usually rudimentary unless developed and activated for the secretion of milk in the female after the birth of young.
Meteorology. (used with a plural verb) hanging, breastlike protuberances on the under surface of a cloud.
[mah-muh; for 1 also muh-mah] /ˈmɑ mə; for 1 also məˈmɑ/
Informal. 1 .

(old-fashioned) an informal word for mother1
noun (mainly US)
Also momma (ˈmɑːmə; məˈmɑː) another word for mother1
(informal) (ˈmɑːmə). a buxom and voluptuous woman
noun (pl) -mae (-miː)
the milk-secreting organ of female mammals: the breast in women, the udder in cows, sheep, etc
(functioning as pl) breast-shaped protuberances, esp from the base of cumulonimbus clouds

1707, spelling variant of mamma. Meaning “sexually attractive woman” first recorded 1925 in black slang; mama’s boy “soft, effeminate male” is from 1901.

1570s, representing the native form of the reduplication of *ma- that is nearly universal among the Indo-European languages (cf. Greek mamme “mother, grandmother,” Latin mamma, Persian mama, Russian and Lithuanian mama “mother,” German Muhme “mother’s sister,” French maman, Welsh mam “mother”). Probably a natural sound in baby-talk, perhaps imitative of sound made while sucking.

Its late appearance in English is curious, but Middle English had mome (mid-13c.) “an aunt; an old woman,” also an affectionate term of address for an older woman. In educated usage, the stress is always on the last syllable. In terms of recorded usage of related words in English, mama is from 1707, mum is from 1823, mummy in this sense from 1839, mommy 1844, momma 1852, and mom 1867.

mamma mam·ma (mām’ə)
n. pl. mam·mae (mām’ē)
A mammary gland.


Related Terms

red-hot mama, sweet mama


Read Also:

  • Mammal

    [mam-uh l] /ˈmæm əl/ noun 1. any vertebrate of the class Mammalia, having the body more or less covered with hair, nourishing the young with milk from the mammary glands, and, with the exception of the egg-laying monotremes, giving birth to live young. /ˈmæməl/ noun 1. any animal of the Mammalia, a large class of […]

  • Mammalgia

    mammalgia mam·mal·gi·a (mā-māl’jē-ə, -jə) n. See mastodynia.

  • Mammalia

    n. 1773, from Modern Latin (Linnaeus), from neuter plural of Late Latin mammalis, from mamma (see mammal).

  • Mammalians

    [muh-mey-lee-uh n, -meyl-yuh n] /məˈmeɪ li ən, -ˈmeɪl yən/ noun 1. an animal of the class Mammalia; mammal. adjective 2. belonging or pertaining to the class Mammalia; characteristic of mammals. adj. 1813, from mammal + -ian. As a noun, from 1835.

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