Definition of filial
1 : of, relating to, or befitting a son or daughter filial obedience filial love
2 : having or assuming the relation of a child or offspring The new village has a filial relationship with the original settlement.
filiallyplay \ˈfi-lē-ə-lē, ˈfil-yə-lē\ adverb
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Recent Examples of filial from the Web
The most emotionally engaging of these accounts centers on Harry Harlow (Mr. Cox), who separates infant monkeys (the rest of the cast) from their mothers to define the nature of filial attachment.
Many Chinese also see Confucian values in her decision to convert to Judaism for her husband and in her filial defense of her father, despite his latent misogyny.
With bin Laden’s filial heir and ideological successors firmly back in the fold, and the group’s affiliates making territorial gains in Yemen and elsewhere, Al-Qaeda once again has the means and the opportunity to attack.
And so the city changes — not back to the past but into something made up of ideas from the past — of filial piety, respect for authority, traditional religions, but also privilege for the rich.
A Chinese official told me that Kushner is the man his ambassador tries to see; this filial approach is more appropriate to Chinese-style governance than to democracy in America.
In fact, the fearless modernist still lived with her mother, in a small apartment in Brooklyn, in a relation that had the appearance of deep filial devotion.
China also has a Confucian concept called filial piety, which emphasizes respect and care of elders.
Besides filial duty, an election loss might have ruined the Ivanka brand.
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.
FILIAL Defined for English Language Learners
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
Definition of filial for Students
: relating to or suitable for a son or daughter filial affection
Seen and Heard
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