Motherly Moth"er*ly, a. [AS. m[=o]dorlic.] Of or pertaining to a mother; like, or suitable for, a mother; tender; maternal; as, motherly authority, love, or care. --Hooker. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Maternal; paternal.

Usage: {Motherly}, {Maternal}. Motherly, being Anglo-Saxon, is the most familiar word of the two when both have the same meaning. Besides this, maternal is confined to the feelings of a mother toward her own children, whereas motherly has a secondary sense, denoting a care like that of a mother for her offspring. There is, perhaps, a growing tendency thus to separate the two, confining motherly to the latter signification. ``They termed her the great mother, for her motherly care in cherishing her brethren whilst young.'' --Sir W. Raleigh. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Motherly — Moth er*ly, adv. In a manner of a mother. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • motherly — (adj.) O.E. modorlic pertaining to a mother; see MOTHER (Cf. mother) (n.1) + LY (Cf. ly) (1). Meaning befitting a mother is from mid 13c. Related: Motherliness …   Etymology dictionary

  • motherly — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ of or characteristic of a mother, especially in being caring, protective, and kind. DERIVATIVES motherliness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • motherly — [muth′ərlē] adj. 1. of a mother 2. having traits considered typical of mothers; kind, protective, nurturing, etc. adv. Archaic as a mother motherliness n …   English World dictionary

  • motherly — moth|er|ly [ˈmʌðəli US ðər ] adj a motherly woman is loving and kind, like a good mother →↑maternal ▪ her motherly instincts ▪ She was a plump, motherly woman in her fifties. >motherliness n [U] …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • motherly — [[t]mʌ̱ðə(r)li[/t]] ADJ GRADED: usu ADJ n Motherly feelings or actions are like those of a kind mother. It was an incredible display of motherly love and forgiveness. ...a plump, motherly woman. Syn: maternal …   English dictionary

  • motherly — motherliness, n. /mudh euhr lee/, adj. 1. pertaining to, characteristic of, or befitting a mother; maternal: motherly solicitude. 2. like a mother: to take a motherly interest in an orphan. adv. 3. in the manner of a mother. [bef. 1000; ME… …   Universalium

  • motherly — moth|er|ly [ mʌðərli ] adjective typical of a good mother: motherly advice/love/qualities a kind, motherly woman ╾ moth|er|li|ness noun uncount …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • motherly — UK [ˈmʌðə(r)lɪ] / US [ˈmʌðərlɪ] adjective typical of a good mother motherly love a kind, motherly woman Derived word: motherliness noun uncountable …   English dictionary

  • motherly — adjective Date: before 12th century 1. of, relating to, or characteristic of a mother < motherly advice > 2. resembling a mother ; maternal • motherliness noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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