noun al·lo·par·ent \ˈa-lə-ˌper-ənt\

Definition of alloparent



  1. :  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


verb, transitive + intransitive,






… 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


\ˌa-lə-pə-ˈren-təl\ play adjective males exhibiting alloparental behavior [=males who perform parental duties for offspring who are not biologically their own]

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Origin and Etymology of alloparent

allo- + 1parent

First Known Use: 1975

Seen and Heard

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feeling or affected by lethargy

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