from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A female person whose egg unites with a sperm or a male person whose sperm unites with an egg, resulting in the conception of a child or the birth of a child.
  • noun A female person who is pregnant with or gives birth to a child except when someone else has legal rights to the child.
  • noun A person who adopts a child.
  • noun A person who raises a child.
  • noun An ancestor; a progenitor.
  • noun An organism that produces or generates offspring.
  • noun A guardian; a protector.
  • noun A parent company.
  • noun A source or cause; an origin.
  • intransitive verb To act as a parent to; raise and nurture.
  • intransitive verb To cause to come into existence; originate.
  • intransitive verb To act as a parent.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A father or mother; one who has generated or produced: correlated to child, offspring, descendant.
  • noun By extension, any animal in relation to its offspring, or a plant in relation to other plants produced from it; any organism in relation to the individual organisms which it produces by any process of reproduction.
  • noun One who or that which produces; an author; a cause; a source.
  • noun A kinsman; relative.
  • Serving as or pertaining to a parent or source.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun One who begets, or brings forth, offspring; a father or a mother.
  • noun That which produces; cause; source; author; begetter.
  • noun (Biol.) See Mother cell, under Mother, also Cytula.
  • noun (Biol.) a nucleus which, in cell division, divides, and gives rise to two or more daughter nuclei. See Karyokinesis, and Cell division, under Division.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A person who acts as a parent in rearing a child; a step-parent or adoptive parent.
  • verb To act as parent, to raise or rear.

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

  • verb bring up
  • noun a father or mother; one who begets or one who gives birth to or nurtures and raises a child; a relative who plays the role of guardian
  • noun an organism (plant or animal) from which younger ones are obtained


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

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin parēns, parent-, from past active participle of parere, to give birth; see perə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman parent, Middle French parent, from Latin parentem, accusative of parēns ("parent"), present participle of parere ("to breed, bring forth").


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word parent.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.