Definition of filial
- filial obedience
- filial love
- The new village has a filial relationship with the original settlement.
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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 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.
: of or relating to a son or daughter : appropriate for a son or daughter
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