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

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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 alloparent (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

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The first known use of alloparent was in 1975

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Cite this Entry

“Alloparent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2021.

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