Simple Definition of filial
: of or relating to a son or daughter : appropriate for a son or daughter
Full Definition of filial
1 : of, relating to, or befitting a son or daughter <filial obedience>
2 : having or assuming the relation of a child or offspring
Did You Know?
Filial is descended from Latin filius, meaning "son," and filia, meaning "daughter," and in English (where it has been used since at least the 14th century) it has always applied to both sexes. The word has long carried the dutiful sense "owed to a parent by a child," as found in such phrases as "filial respect" and "filial piety." These days it can also be used more generally for any emotion or behavior of a child to a parent. You might suspect that "filia" is also the source of the word filly, meaning "a young female horse" or "a young girl," but it isn't. Rather, "filly" is from Old Norse "fylja."
Origin of filial
Middle English, from Late Latin filialis, from Latin filius son — more at feminine
First Known Use: 14th century
FILIAL Defined for Kids
Definition of filial for Students
: relating to or suitable for a son or daughter <filial affection>
Seen and Heard
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