Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Informal Mother.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • milli-arcsecond
  • n. Mother, mama.
  • abbr. May

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A child's word for mother.
  • n. In Oriental countries, a respectful form of address given to a woman; mother.
  • conj. But; -- used in cautionary phrases.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • A Middle English form of mo.
  • n. A shorter or childish form of mama.
  • In music, but: used especially in the phrase ma non troppo, but not too much, to limit various indications of musical tempo and style, as allegro ma non troppo, quick, but not too much so, etc.
  • n. A sling used by Polynesian islanders, made from finely braided fibers of cocoanut-husk or of similar material.
  • n. An abbreviation of Master of Applied Science.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. informal terms for a mother
  • n. a state in New England; one of the original 13 colonies
  • n. one thousandth of an ampere
  • n. a master's degree in arts and sciences

Etymologies

Short for mama.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
The sound is very commonly made by infants, and is interpreted by parents as a reference to themselves. (Wiktionary)
Abbreviation. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • _Ma ma ma ma ma ma ma ma ma ma_, the Chinese stammeringly say, and if the pitch and tone of each _ma_ are right, the meaning of the apparent repetition is, "Does Mother scold the horses, or will the horses scold Mother?"

    Beard

  • Was it not Scarron who wrote a poem, 'A Guillemette, chienne de ma soeur, 'but quarrelling with his sister just as the volume was about to appear, put in the _errata_,' For _chienne de ma soeur_ read _ma chienne de soeur_ '!

    The Book-Hunter at Home

  • "_C'est drole! c'est ma maison_ -- _ma maison veritable_!"

    The Quadroon Adventures in the Far West

  • Guillemette, Chienne de ma Soeur_; but having a quarrel with his sister, he maliciously put into the _errata_, "Instead of _Chienne de ma Soeur_, read _ma Chienne de Soeur_."

    Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3)

  • Napoli e Maradona = un amore infinito! ma c'amma fa cu stu S. Paolo..foss S. Gennar..ma quanto vorrei che il mio stadio s chiammass

    Metacafe - Today's Videos by Metacafe

  • a resemblance to each other, and then also commences for them that annoyance to which so many English children have been subjected, from generation to generation down to our time: the difficulty of knowing when to say _mon_ and _ma_ -- "kaunt dewunt dire moun et ma" -- that is how to distinguish the genders.

    A Literary History of the English People From the Origins to the Renaissance

  • Because sao cook has the same pronunciation as the word for an older woman, when Chinese hear the term "ma da sao," they usually picture a housewife.

    CNN.com

  • And, in fact, out in California, a lot of the women I spoke to out there seem to have, you know, a particular antipathy towards the term ma'am.

    Please Don't Call Me 'Ma'am'

  • Egyptian government was highly centralized and society strictly hierarchical: proper order in the kingdom, expressed by the term ma ` at, was thought to ensure national well-being.

    b. Economy, Technology, Society, and Culture

  • The only place this ma is a legend is in his mind, well, maybe Cheney's too.

    Poll: Bush most unpopular in modern history

Comments

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  • "ma" in Hungaroian means: today

    August 7, 2012