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[muhth -er-lee] /ˈmʌð ər li/

pertaining to, characteristic of, or befitting a ; maternal:
motherly solicitude.
like a :
to take a motherly interest in an orphan.
in the manner of a .
of or resembling a mother, esp in warmth, or protectiveness

Old English modorlic “pertaining to a mother;” see mother (n.1) + -ly (1). Meaning “befitting a mother” is from mid-13c. Related: Motherliness.


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    noun 1. a personification of the forces of nature as a controlling and regulating maternal being, sometimes creative and caring.

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  • Mother of

    The best or greatest of a type, as in That was the mother of all tennis matches. This expression originated during the Gulf War as a translation of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s term umm al-ma’arik, for “major battle”; the Arabic “mother of” is a figure of speech for “major” or “best.” It was quickly adopted […]

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