1. (verb) (-a,-hia,-nga,-tia) to feed, nourish, bring up, foster, adopt, raise, nurture, rear.
Kaua hei whāngaia te pēpi ki te pātara (TTT 1/10/1927:699). / Don't feed the baby with a bottle.
2. (modifier) fostered, adoptive, foster.
Ka mate te matua whāngai, e riro rānei te whenua o te tūpāpaku i te tamaiti whāngai?...Ko te tikanga Māori mō te tamaiti whāngai, ka hoki anō ki roto i ngā pānga o ōna mātua ake, i runga anō i te take huihui, i heke mai i roto i te tino take ki te whenua, kāore hoki te whāngai e tangohia i waho o ngā whakapapa me te toto (TPH 30/8/1902:2). / When the foster parent dies, is the land of the deceased inherited by the foster child?...In Māori custom an adopted child would fall back on the rights to the land shares of his/her birth parents which would occur in gatherings where the inheritance of land was passed on, and the foster child would not have rights outside genealogical and blood ties. (Statements by Īhāia Hūtana of Ngāti Kahungunu.)
3. (noun) foster child, adopted child - this is a customary practice. Often a couple's first child was brought up by grandparents or adopted by one of the brothers or sisters of a parent, but almost always the foster child was a blood relation, usually a close relation. This practice continues today, but inheritance of land and property is not clear-cut. Sometimes the foster child would be entitled to inherit the foster father's property, especially if a child was adopted at birth and remained with the foster parents through to adulthood and looked after the adopted parent(s) in their old age. In this case the foster child would share the interests with any natural children. The rights of a foster child might be modified if an ōhākī (bequest) by the foster father had been made. Foster children always knew who their natural parents were.
Nō te whānautanga o Te Ataihaea, he kōtiro, kua hiahia tō mātau māmā kia riro mai i a ia hai whāngai māna (HP 1991:19). / When Te Ataihaea, a girl, was born our mother wanted to adopt her as a foster child.