offspring

noun

off·​spring ˈȯf-ˌspriŋ How to pronounce offspring (audio)
plural offspring also offsprings
1
a
: the product of the reproductive processes of a person, animal, or plant : young, progeny
The disease can be transmitted from parent to offspring.
b
: the immediate descendant of a person or animal : an individual born of a parent
gave birth to a single offspring
"… He was becoming irascible as well, impatient—with me especially, because I was his only offspring [=child]. …"Anthony Hopkins
2
a
: product, result
… scholarly manuscripts—the labored offsprings of PhDs …Donna Martin
… the substitution of the typewriter and its offspring for the author's own hand.Jacques Barzun
b
: offshoot sense 1a
… you can hear this Caribbean club music, a hard-edged and party-heavy offspring of reggae …Lorraine Ali

Examples of offspring in a Sentence

The show is about two couples and the adventures of their rebellious offspring. The colt is the offspring of two racing champions.
Recent Examples on the Web But the findings of two reports from Pew Research Center show an interdependence between parents and their young adult offspring is both welcome and needed. Michelle Singletary, Washington Post, 14 Feb. 2024 That’s because the mother is trying to feed her new calf while helping to feed her adult children and their offspring. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, 12 Feb. 2024 In a news release last week, Fish and Game said a female mountain lion and her offspring were frequenting a home in eastern Hailey. Nicole Blanchard, Idaho Statesman, 31 Jan. 2024 Even more efficiently, the adult cowbirds lay only one of their eggs in a nest so their offspring do not compete with themselves. Taylor Piephoff, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 That’s because apples happen to be extremely heterozygous, meaning that just one tree can produce an incredible variation in offspring, leaving no two apple trees the same. Laura Kiniry, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Dec. 2023 And that extra activity appears to pay off: the sandpipers that sleep the least sire the most offspring. Jack Tamisiea, Scientific American, 25 Jan. 2024 In the following years, Coppola had the kind of aimless early adulthood particular to the offspring of the Hollywood élite. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, 22 Jan. 2024 There are also cases where female whales clearly mourn the loss of their offspring. Allison Futterman, Discover Magazine, 17 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'offspring.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English ofspring, from Old English, from of off + springan to spring

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of offspring was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near offspring

Cite this Entry

“Offspring.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/offspring. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

offspring

noun
off·​spring ˈȯf-ˌspriŋ How to pronounce offspring (audio)
plural offspring also offsprings
: the young of a person, animal, or plant

Medical Definition

offspring

noun
off·​spring ˈȯf-ˌspriŋ How to pronounce offspring (audio)
plural offspring also offsprings
: the progeny of an animal or plant : young

More from Merriam-Webster on offspring

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