par·​ent | \ ˈper-ənt How to pronounce parent (audio) \

Definition of parent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : one that begets or brings forth offspring just became parents of twins
b : a person who brings up and cares for another foster parents
2a : an animal or plant that is regarded in relation to its offspring The parent brings food to the chicks.
b : the material or source from which something is derived Latin is the parent of several languages.
c : a group from which another arises and to which it usually remains subsidiary a parent company


parented; parenting; parents

Definition of parent (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to be or act as the parent of : originate, produce

intransitive verb

: to be or act as a parent

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Other Words from parent


parent adjective
parental \ pə-​ˈren-​tᵊl How to pronounce parental (audio) \ adjective
parentally \ pə-​ˈren-​tᵊl-​ē How to pronounce parentally (audio) \ adverb
parentless \ ˈper-​ənt-​ləs How to pronounce parentless (audio) \ adjective

Examples of parent in a Sentence


My parents live in New York. The form must be signed by a parent or guardian of the child. The parent brings food to the chicks. The new plant will have characteristics of both parent plants.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Of the 35 parents arrested in the admissions scheme, just one has been sentenced so far. Eric Levenson, CNN, "Chinese parent arrested for bribery in Spain as part of the college admissions scam," 17 Sep. 2019 Eden Creamery, the parent of the Halo Top brand, has signed a purchase agreement with Wells Enterprises, owner of Blue Bunny and other frozen treats. Los Angeles Times, "Halo Top ice cream company is sold to Blue Bunny’s owner," 17 Sep. 2019 Baby products Amazon's Mama Bear brand sells a range of products for babies, toddlers, and the parents who buy everything for them. Alyssa Newcomb, Fortune, "Amazon’s In-House Products Go Far Beyond AmazonBasics," 16 Sep. 2019 The parents were arrested in 2015 and held without bond until their release. Carol Robinson |, al, "Charge dismissed against father in infant son’s 2013 blunt force trauma death," 16 Sep. 2019 The parents signed statements to that effect, and a judge in July 2018 allowed the seizure order to expire, citing lack of sufficient evidence to extend it. John Woolfolk, The Mercury News, "How California’s ‘red flag’ law thwarted gun threats at Sunnyvale Ford, Netflix, and Palo Alto City Hall," 15 Sep. 2019 There’s no doubt that there is money to be made in sleep: Consider the $149,900 horsetail hair mattress from the Swedish company Hästens, or the parents who spend thousands of dollars on sleep consultants for their newborns. Sheila Marikar, New York Times, "Casper Dreams of Being Bigger Than Mattresses," 13 Sep. 2019 Mitali Rao, a recent Delhi University graduate, is one such parent. Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, "Heads Up For Tales is raising millions as Indian pet parents pamper their pooches," 13 Sep. 2019 About six months later, her remains were found buried July 11 outside of a Garrard County home owned by the parents of one of the men, David Sparks. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Savannah Spurlock's family is turning a tragedy into advocacy for other missing persons," 12 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The couple remained amicable while co-parenting their three daughters — Grace, Angel and Adore. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Gizelle Bryant Confirms She Is Dating Ex-Husband, Pastor Jamal H. Bryant," 16 Sep. 2019 Justin's grandmother is co-parenting this boy with the meth addict mom who is always off trying to cop dope. Karen Bliss, Billboard, "Fisher Stevens Explains Justin Timberlake's Role In Upcoming Movie 'Palmer'," 13 Sep. 2019 At the end of the film, Madison and Tom become co-parenting partners. Marie Claire, "Feminist Writers Re-Write the Endings to 3 Classic Rom-Coms," 15 Feb. 2019 Another study, by the Open University in England, found childless couples were happier with their relationships and their partners than parents were, and were doing more work on their relationships than parenting couples. Jack Guy, CNN, "Having kids makes you happier -- once they've moved out," 19 Aug. 2019 The couple has been co-parenting their son Kiyan during this difficult period. Paula Rogo, Essence, "La La Anthony In 'Legal Discussions' As She Contemplates Future With Carmelo Anthony," 4 July 2019 This Will Only Hurt a Little), hosting her own late-night show (Busy Tonight), parenting her two daughters (ages five and 10), or even posting an early-morning workout on Instagram Stories. Glamour, "Busy Philipps Thinks We Should Celebrate Our Skin—Yes, Even Acne," 1 Apr. 2019 Dads actually parent their toddler daughters differently than their toddler son, according to a new study published in Behavioral Neuroscience, and fathers with daughters are more attentive to their daughters than dads with sons. Emma Baty, Redbook, "'Daddy's Little Girl' Isn't Such a Cliché After All," 1 June 2017 Often, parenting grandparents are struggling with same issues as their grandchildren, dealing with the children’s troubled parents, and in the most tragic cases mourning their loss. Robert Weisman,, "Growing old and back in the ‘bouncy house,’ more grandparents are raising grandkids," 12 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'parent.' 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 parent


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1663, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for parent


Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin parent-, parens "father or mother, progenitor, ancestor," probably from an aorist participle of parere "to give birth to, bring into being, produce" — more at parturient entry 1


derivative of parent entry 1

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Statistics for parent

Last Updated

10 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for parent

The first known use of parent was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for parent



English Language Learners Definition of parent

: a person who is a father or mother : a person who has a child
: an animal or plant that produces a young animal or plant
: something out of which another thing has developed


par·​ent | \ ˈper-ənt How to pronounce parent (audio) \

Kids Definition of parent

1 : a father or mother of a child
2 : an animal or plant that produces offspring


par·​ent | \ ˈpar-ənt, ˈper- How to pronounce parent (audio) \

Medical Definition of parent

1 : one that begets or brings forth offspring
2 : the material or source from which something is derived

Other Words from parent

parent adjective
parental \ pə-​ˈrent-​ᵊl How to pronounce parental (audio) \ adjective

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Legal Definition of parent

1a : a person who begets or brings forth offspring especially : the natural parents of a child born of their marriage
b : a person who legally adopts a child
c : a person or entity that owes to a child a legally imposed duty of support
d : a stepparent where designated by statute
2 : an entity or group that gives rise to or acquires another usually subsidiary entity or group a parent company specifically : a corporation that owns a required minimum percentage of the stock of another corporation — compare affiliate

Other Words from parent

parent adjective
parental \ pə-​ˈren-​təl How to pronounce parental (audio) \ adjective
parentally adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on parent

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with parent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for parent

Spanish Central: Translation of parent

Nglish: Translation of parent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of parent for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about parent

Comments on parent

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transposition of initial sounds of words

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