mothering

[muhth-er-ing]

Origin:
1640–50; mother1 + -ing1

Dictionary.com Unabridged

mother

1 [muhth-er]
noun
1.
a female parent.
2.
(often initial capital letter) one's female parent.
3.
a mother-in-law, stepmother, or adoptive mother.
4.
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.
5.
a term of familiar address for an old or elderly woman.
7.
a woman exercising control, influence, or authority like that of a mother: to be a mother to someone.
8.
the qualities characteristic of a mother, as maternal affection: It is the mother in her showing itself.
9.
something or someone that gives rise to or exercises protecting care over something else; origin or source.
10.
(in disc recording) a mold from which stampers are made.
adjective
11.
being a mother: a mother bird.
12.
of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a mother: mother love.
13.
derived from or as if from one's mother; native: his mother culture.
14.
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)
15.
to be the mother of; give origin or rise to.
16.
to acknowledge oneself the author of; assume as one's own.
17.
to care for or protect like a mother; act maternally toward.
verb (used without object)
18.
to perform the tasks or duties of a female parent; act maternally: a woman with a need to mother.
Idioms
19.
mother of all, the greatest or most notable example of: the mother of all mystery novels.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English mother, moder, Old English mōdor; cognate with Dutch moeder, German Mutter, Old Norse mōthir, Latin māter, Greek mḗtēr, Sanskrit mātar-. As in father, th was substituted for d, possibly on the model of brother

motherless, adjective
motherlessness, noun
unmothered, adjective


17. tend, nurse, mind, raise.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
mother1 (ˈmʌðə)
 
n
1.  a.  a female who has given birth to offspring
 b.  (as modifier): a mother bird
2.  (often capital, esp as a term of address) a person's own mother
3.  a female substituting in the function of a mother
4.  archaic chiefly (often capital) a term of address for an old woman
5.  a.  motherly qualities, such as maternal affection: it appealed to the mother in her
 b.  (as modifier): mother love
 c.  (in combination): mothercraft
6.  a.  a female or thing that creates, nurtures, protects, etc, something
 b.  (as modifier): mother church; mother earth
7.  a title given to certain members of female religious orders: mother superior
8.  Christian Science God as the eternal Principle
9.  (modifier) native or innate: mother wit
10.  offensive, taboo, slang chiefly (US) short for motherfucker
11.  be mother to pour the tea: I'll be mother
12.  informal the mother of all … the greatest example of its kind: the mother of all parties
 
vb
13.  to give birth to or produce
14.  to nurture, protect, etc as a mother
 
Related: maternal
 
[Old English mōdor; compare Old Saxon mōdar, Old High German muotar, Latin māter, Greek mētēr]
 
'mothering1
 
n

mother2 (ˈmʌðə)
 
n
Also called: mother of vinegar 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
 
[C16: perhaps from mother1, but compare Spanish madre scum, Dutch modder dregs, Middle Low German modder decaying object, mudde sludge]
 
'mothery2
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

mother
O.E. modor, from P.Gmc. *mothær (cf. O.S. modar, Dan. moder, Du. moeder, Ger. Mutter), from PIE *mater- (cf. L. mater, O.Ir. mathir, Lith. mote, Skt. matar-, Gk. meter, O.C.S. mati). Spelling with -th- dates from early 16c., though that pronunciation is probably older. The verb meaning "to take
care of" is first recorded 1863. 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 Hueein'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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

mother moth·er (mŭð'ər)
n.

  1. A woman who conceives, gives birth to, or raises and nurtures a child.

  2. A female parent of an animal.

  3. A structure, such as a mother cell, from which other similar bodies are formed.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
Schizophrenia was thought to be due to poor mothering.
Such knowledge is crucial for understanding normal as well as abusive and neglectful mothering.
Not that people say mothering, or parenting in general, is easy.
And everywhere, it seems, there's a doll that needs mothering.
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