n. pl. ma·ter·ni·ties
1. The state of being a mother; motherhood.
2. The feelings or characteristics associated with being a mother; motherliness.
3. A maternity ward.
Relating to or effective during pregnancy, childbirth, or the first months of motherhood: a maternity dress; maternity leave.
[French maternité, from Medieval Latin māternitās, from Latin māternus, maternal; see MATERNAL.]
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