[muhth -er] /ˈmʌð ər/
a female parent.
(often initial capital letter) one’s female parent.
a mother-in-law, stepmother, or adoptive mother.
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.
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.
(in disc recording) a mold from which stampers are made.
being a mother:
a mother bird.
of, relating to, or characteristic of a mother:
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.
verb (used with object)
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.
verb (used without object)
to perform the tasks or duties of a female parent; act maternally:
a woman with a need to mother.
mother of all, the greatest or most notable example of:
the mother of all mystery novels.
not having a mother
(Austral, informal) (intensifier): motherless broke
(often capital, esp as a term of address) a person’s own mother
a female substituting in the function of a mother
(often capital) (mainly archaic) a term of address for an old woman
a title given to certain members of female religious orders: mother superior
(Christian Science) God as the eternal Principle
(modifier) native or innate: mother wit
(offensive, taboo, slang, mainly US) short for (offensive) motherfucker
be mother, to pour the tea: I’ll be mother
(informal) the mother of all …, the greatest example of its kind: the mother of all parties
to give birth to or produce
to nurture, protect, etc as a mother
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
Old English moderleas; see mother (n.) + -less.
Old English modor “female parent,” from Proto-Germanic *mothær (cf. Old Saxon modar, Old Frisian moder, Old Norse moðir, Danish moder, Dutch moeder, Old High German muoter, German Mutter), from PIE *mater- “mother” (cf. Latin mater, Old Irish mathir, Lithuanian mote, Sanskrit matar-, Greek meter, Old Church Slavonic mati), “[b]ased ultimately on the baby-talk form *mā- (2); with the kinship term suffix *-ter-” [Watkins]. Spelling with -th- dates from early 16c., though that pronunciation is probably older.
Mother nature first attested c.1600; mother earth is from 1580s. Mother tongue “one’s native language” first attested late 14c. Mother of all ________ 1991, is Gulf War slang, from Saddam Hussein’s use in reference to the coming battle; it is an Arabic idiom (as well as an English one), cf. Ayesha, second wife of Muhammad, known as Mother of Believers. Mother Carey’s chickens is late 18c. sailors’ nickname for storm petrels, or for snowflakes. Mother lode attested by c.1882, from mining .
“a thick substance concreting in liquors; the lees or scum concreted” [Johnson], probably from Middle Dutch modder “filth, dregs,” from PIE *meu- (see mud).
1540s, “to be the mother of,” from mother (n.1). Meaning “to take care of” is from 1863. Related: Mothered; mothering.
mother moth·er (mŭð’ər)
: Every mother other one of ’em cried foul
[both black senses fr the very useful and general motherfucker]
In addition to the idiom beginning with mother
noun 1. the portion of a solution remaining after crystallization of its important component.
[muhth -er-lohd] /ˈmʌð ərˌloʊd/ noun 1. Mining. a rich or important lode. 2. a major or profitable source or supply: New York City is a mother lode of actors. noun 1. (mining) the principal lode in a system
[muhth -er-lee] /ˈmʌð ər li/ adjective 1. pertaining to, characteristic of, or befitting a ; maternal: motherly solicitude. 2. like a : to take a motherly interest in an orphan. adverb 3. in the manner of a . /ˈmʌðəlɪ/ adjective 1. of or resembling a mother, esp in warmth, or protectiveness adj. Old English modorlic […]
[muhth -er-ney-kid] /ˈmʌð ərˈneɪ kɪd/ adjective 1. stark naked; as naked as when born.