noun Classical Mythology.
- the eldest of the Pleiades and the mother of Hermes by Zeus.
- Greek myth the eldest of the seven Pleiades, mother by Zeus of Hermes
Roman goddess of fertility, Latin Maia, literally “she who brings increase,” related to magnus “great” (see magnate). Maia, one of the Pleiades, is from Greek Maia, daughter of Atlas, mother of Hermes, literally “mother, good mother, dame; foster-mother, nurse, midwife,” said by Watkins to be from infant babbling (see mamma).