off·​spring | \ ˈȯf-ˌspriŋ How to pronounce offspring (audio) \
plural offspring also offsprings

Definition of offspring

1a : 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
2a : 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

Synonyms for offspring


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Spirit, a nearly 3-month-old eaglet who is the offspring of celebrity bald eagles Shadow and Jackie, took her first flight early Tuesday. Christian Martinezstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 31 May 2022 If so, these cats were abandoned by your neighbors or are the offspring of those felines. Cathy M. Rosenthal, San Antonio Express-News, 12 May 2022 The people who rioted in 1992 were the offspring of that history of abandonment. New York Times, 28 Apr. 2022 Sadly though, despite being the offspring of two all-time culinary greats, Indian pizza is more of a Chet Hanks than a Zoë Kravitz. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, 28 Mar. 2022 Oviva is one of 19 offspring companies tucked into the Cambrian fold that address certain system-wide triggers of aging. Alex Zhavoronkov, Forbes, 19 May 2022 Eight months later, the killers’ offspring are born. Ben Taub, The New Yorker, 16 May 2022 But when threatened, this furry marsupial will create a diversion by expelling offspring from its pouch by relaxing the muscles, allowing its charge to fall to the ground. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 8 May 2022 Vivian Olyphant, Timothy’s real-life daughter, will play the same role as Raylan’s offspring. Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 5 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of offspring

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

History and Etymology for offspring

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

Learn More About offspring

Time Traveler for offspring

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near offspring




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for offspring

Last Updated

12 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Offspring.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for offspring


off·​spring | \ ˈȯf-ˌspriŋ How to pronounce offspring (audio) \
plural offspring also offsprings

Kids Definition of offspring

: the young of a person, animal, or plant


off·​spring | \ ˈȯf-ˌspriŋ How to pronounce offspring (audio) \
plural offspring also offsprings

Medical Definition of offspring

: the progeny of an animal or plant : young

More from Merriam-Webster on offspring

Nglish: Translation of offspring for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of offspring for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!