filial

play
adjective fil·ial \ˈfi-lē-əl, ˈfil-yəl\

Definition of filial

  1. 1 :  of, relating to, or befitting a son or daughter filial obedience filial love

  2. 2 :  having or assuming the relation of a child or offspring The new village has a filial relationship with the original settlement.

filially

play \ˈfi-lē-ə-lē, ˈfil-yə-lē\ adverb

filial was our Word of the Day on 08/11/2016. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of filial from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'filial'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

filial Has Familial Origins

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 and Etymology of filial

Middle English, from Late Latin filialis, from Latin filius son — more at feminine

Other Anthropology Terms


FILIAL Defined for English Language Learners

filial

play
adjective

Definition of filial for English Language Learners

  • : of or relating to a son or daughter : appropriate for a son or daughter


FILIAL Defined for Kids

filial

play
adjective fil·ial \ˈfi-lē-əl, ˈfil-yəl\

Definition of filial for Students

  1. :  relating to or suitable for a son or daughter filial affection


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