al·​lo·​par·​ent | \ ˈa-lə-ˌper-ənt How to pronounce alloparent (audio) \
plural alloparents

Definition of alloparent

: an individual other than the biological parent of an offspring that performs the functions of a parent (as by temporarily caring for an infant) Alloparents are not unconditional caretakers; they won’t devote scarce resources to other offspring at the expense of their own.— Jeffrey Kluger, Time, 8 May 2000

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Other Words from alloparent

alloparent verb, transitive + intransitive alloparenting; alloparented; alloparents
… a key aspect of the human evolutionary pattern of reproduction and development involves the contribution of dependent children to alloparent younger kin. — Paula Ivey Henry et al., in Hunter-Gatherer Childhoods, 2005 … discovering whether some individuals were more likely to alloparent than others, and if so, the attributes that were associated with this heightened likelihood of care. — Peter H. Klopfer, in Non-Animal Techniques in Biomedical and Behavioral Research and Testing, 1993
alloparental \ ˌa-​lə-​pə-​ˈren-​tᵊl How to pronounce alloparental (audio) \ adjective
males exhibiting alloparental behavior [=males who perform parental duties for offspring who are not biologically their own]

First Known Use of alloparent

1975, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for alloparent

allo- + parent entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about alloparent

Time Traveler for alloparent

Time Traveler

The first known use of alloparent was in 1975

See more words from the same year

Statistics for alloparent

Cite this Entry

“Alloparent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Nov. 2020.

Comments on alloparent

What made you want to look up alloparent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!