AskDefine | Define mom

Dictionary Definition

mom n : informal terms for a mother [syn: ma, mama, mamma, momma, mommy, mammy, mum, mummy, mater]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /mɒm/
  • Rhymes with: -ɒm

Alternative spellings

  • mum (UK, Australia)


  1. : mother, momma.

Usage notes

"Mom" is only capitalised when used as a proper noun:
  • I think Mom likes my new car.
  • I think my mom will like you.


mother (informal, familiar)

See also

Extensive Definition

"Mom", "Mum", and "Mommy" redirect here. For other uses, see Mom (disambiguation), Mum (disambiguation) and Mommy (disambiguation).
A mother is a biological and/or social female parent of an offspring. In the case of a mammal such as a human, the biological mother gestates a fertilized ovum, which is called first an embryo, and then a fetus. This gestation occurs in the mother's uterus from conception until the fetus is sufficiently developed to be born. The mother then goes into labor and gives birth. Once the child is born, the mother produces milk in a process called lactation to feed the child; often the mother's breast milk is the child's sole nourishment for the first year or more of the child's life.
The title mother is often given to a woman other than the biological parent, if it is she who fulfills the social role. This is most commonly either an adoptive mother or a stepmother (the biologically unrelated wife of a child's father). Currently, with advances in reproductive technologies, the function of biological motherhood can be split between the genetic mother (who provides the ovum) and the gestational mother (who carries the pregnancy), and in theory neither might be the social mother (the one who brings up the child).
Mothers have historically fulfilled the primary role in the raising of children, but since the late 20th century, the role of the father in child care has been given greater prominence in most Western countries.
The experience of motherhood varies greatly depending upon location. The organization Save the Children has ranked the countries of the world, and found that Scandinavian countries are the best places to be a mother, whereas countries in sub-Saharan Africa are the worst. A mother in the bottom 10 countries is over 750 times more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth, compared to a mother in the top 10 countries, and a mother in the bottom 10 countries is 28 times more likely to see her child die before reaching his or her first birthday.

Synonyms and translations

Familiar or colloquial terms for mother in English are:
  • mom or mommy, in most of North America (especially the U.S.). It is used widely in the West Midlands, in the UK.
  • mum or mummy, is used in the UK, Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand
  • Ma, Mam or Mammy is used in Ireland and sometimes in the UK.
  • "mama" is used in many countries, but is considered a Spanish form of "mother"
  • In many other languages, similar pronunciations apply; mama in Polish and Slovak, māma in Mandarin Chinese, máma in Czech, maman in French, mamma in Italian, or mãe in Portuguese. Mama, borrowed from the English, is in common use in Japan. In Hebrew the word is eema (אמא), and in many south Asian cultures and the Middle East the mother is known as amma or oma or ammi or "ummi", or variations thereof. Many times these terms denote affection or a maternal role in a child's life.

Legendary & mythological mothers


mom in Afrikaans: Moeder
mom in Arabic: أم
mom in Aragonese: Mai
mom in Aymara: Tayka
mom in Bengali: মা
mom in Bosnian: Majka
mom in Breton: Mamm
mom in Bulgarian: Майка
mom in Catalan: Mare
mom in Czech: Matka
mom in German: Mutter
mom in Estonian: Ema
mom in Spanish: Madre
mom in Esperanto: Patrino
mom in French: Mère
mom in Korean: 어머니
mom in Italian: Madre
mom in Kannada: ತಾಯಿ
mom in Kinyarwanda: Mama
mom in Latin: Mater
mom in Lithuanian: Mama
mom in Ligurian: Moæ
mom in Malagasy: Reny
mom in Malayalam: അമ്മ
mom in Marathi: आई
mom in Dutch: Moeder
mom in Dutch Low Saxon: Moor (meens)
mom in Newari: आमा
mom in Japanese: 母親
mom in Norwegian: Mor
mom in Norwegian Nynorsk: Mor
mom in Portuguese: Mãe
mom in Romanian: Mamă
mom in Simple English: Mother
mom in Slovak: Matka (biológia)
mom in Serbian: Мајка
mom in Finnish: Äiti
mom in Swedish: Mor
mom in Tamil: தாய்
mom in Telugu: తల్లి
mom in Thai: แม่
mom in Cherokee: ᎤᏂᏥ
mom in Turkish: Anne
mom in Ukrainian: Мати
mom in Yiddish: מוטער
mom in Contenese: 阿媽
mom in Chinese: 母親

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

dam, foster mother, genetrix, ma, mam, mama, mammy, mater, materfamilias, maternal ancestor, matriarch, mommy, mother, mummy, old lady, old woman, stepmother, the old woman
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1