in loco parentis

in lo·​co pa·​ren·​tis | \in-ˈlō-kō-pə-ˈren-təs \

Definition of in loco parentis 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: in the place of a parent school officials acting in loco parentis

in loco parentis


Definition of in loco parentis (Entry 2 of 2)

: regulation or supervision by an administrative body (as at a university) acting in loco parentis

Examples of in loco parentis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This column isn’t old enough to remember when university faculty were thought to be conscientious adults in loco parentis. James Freeman, WSJ, "Most U.S. College Students Afraid to Disagree with Professors," 26 Oct. 2018 Acting in loco parentis and under orders from the federal government, administrators form de facto star chambers that act as judge, jury and executioner, without adhering to legal rules of evidence or due process. Nina Burleigh, Newsweek, "The Battle Against ‘Hate Speech’ on College Campuses Gives Rise to a Generation That Hates Speech," 26 May 2016 The case significantly weakened the principle of in loco parentis, the legal idea that the school serves in place of the parent while a student is in attendance, and can thus absorb some of a child’s personal rights. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "Here's What Happened When the Supreme Court Ruled on Whether Students Can Protest During School," 23 Feb. 2018 Their grievances ran the gamut from the universities’ in loco parentis positions (in the U.K.) to student unionization (in Holland). Lily Rothman, Time, "50 Years Ago This Week: Bob Hope Goes to Vietnam," 18 Dec. 2017 Blurred Lines is probably intended as a book for worried parents and others—like administrative professionals—who are worried by the changing stakes of in loco parentis caretaking of young people today. Josephine Livingstone, New Republic, "The Generational Divide on Campus Rape," 2 Oct. 2017 This is based on the tradition of in loco parentis when the college serves as parent substitutes while the student is enrolled. WSJ, "Justice for All, Except Male College Students," 11 July 2017

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

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First Known Use of in loco parentis


1818, in the meaning defined above


1968, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for in loco parentis



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The first known use of in loco parentis was in 1818

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in loco parentis


English Language Learners Definition of in loco parentis

law : in the place of a parent

in loco parentis

in lo·​co pa·​ren·​tis | \in-ˈlō-kō-pə-ˈren-tis \

Legal Definition of in loco parentis 

: in the place of a parent either parent of a minor, guardian, or a person standing in loco parentis to the minorCode of Alabama

Note: In order for a person to be considered in loco parentis, he or she must have intentionally assumed the rights and duties of a parent.

History and Etymology for in loco parentis


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to make faulty or ineffective

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