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The current version of the vocabulary builder covers over 2720 words & is useful for students preparing for academic English examinations such as SAT, GRE, GMAT, etc. Now you can also listen to the pronunciation of words. - Refer a Friend.


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maternal (adj) like a mother, having the feelings and attitude of a mother; related on the mother's side.

Maternal feelings are the feelings natural to a mother, namely, love and affection. Maternal care is the care that a mother usually shows towards her children, and sometimes extends to others too. A maternal uncle is an uncle on the mother's side as different from a paternal uncle who is related to you on your father's side. Your maternal grandfather is the father of your mother.

  • Amy's maternal instincts drove her to defend her son who had badly hurt his classmate. She would not allow her son to be punished.
  • The child's maternal uncle, who took pity on his sister's child after his sister's death, brought up the child, as his own, and left a large legacy to it.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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