parent

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

Essential Meaning of parent

1 : a person who is a father or mother : a person who has a child My parents live in New York. They recently became parents. = They're new parents. See More ExamplesThe form must be signed by a parent or guardian of the child. A few of us are single parents. [=parents who live with a child or children and no husband, wife, or partner] my adoptive parents [=the people who adopted me] The organization helps people who were adopted find their birth/biological parents. [=their natural parents] They'd like to become foster parents. [=people who volunteer to care for a child who is not their biological child]Hide
2 : an animal or plant that produces a young animal or plant The parent brings food to the chicks. the parent bird The new plant will have characteristics of both parent plants.
3 : something out of which another thing has developed

Full 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

parent

verb
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

Other Words from parent

Noun

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

Examples of parent in a Sentence

Noun 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 Many of us have blamed the pandemic and politics for the outbreak of parent anger toward schools. Washington Post, 21 Nov. 2021 On November 18, 1987, the young couple left British Columbia in Jay's parent's van heading for Seattle, Washington. Det. CBS News, 20 Nov. 2021 But nothing in the memo is evidence that any parent is being treated as a domestic terrorist simply for, say, criticizing school policy. Daniel Dale And Tara Subramaniam, CNN, 20 Nov. 2021 In his journey, Roy sees parts of his father, a professor of dairy technology, who fostered Roy’s love for learning, as well as his mother, a stay-at-home parent with a master’s degree in psychology, who nurtured his empathy. Justin Chen, STAT, 20 Nov. 2021 Afterlife feels fully parent-approved—and where’s the fun in that? Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 19 Nov. 2021 Her actions angered Debbie Espinoza, chair of Broward’s District Advisory Council, a parent group that makes recommendations to the School Board. Scott Travis, sun-sentinel.com, 19 Nov. 2021 Angela, born on the island of Lesvos, was a Greek immigrant and single parent. Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, The Arizona Republic, 19 Nov. 2021 In July, the DPI ruled that the district's investigation of parent Jessica Mcchomvu's complaint that her son was racially harassed was deficient. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 19 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The couple then divorced but remained on good terms, continuing to co-parent their two children together. Ruth Kinane, EW.com, 16 Nov. 2021 Bonding with children at the start of life is how fathers grow empowered to parent them throughout their development. Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY, 19 Oct. 2021 Brown, 33, who helped co-parent the girls with Creek and Meade, said NaJhari was just learning how to say his name. Washington Post, 2 Aug. 2021 At home, Ji-Yoon is struggling to parent her young adoptive daughter, Juju (Everly Carganilla). Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, 20 Aug. 2021 Sonja Goetsch-Avila: Everyone should be able to determine if, when, and how to parent on their own terms. Lisa Deaderick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 July 2021 As is the case for many common questions about how to parent the 5-to-12 set, there’s just not much meaningful research out there about phones. Vicky Hallett, Washington Post, 30 July 2021 But what the reproductive justice framework encourages us to do is to think about those who think beyond the right not to have a child and to think about the right to have a child — and then also the right to parent one’s child with dignity. Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times, 25 June 2021 The entire time, a temporary protection order has interfered with the woman’s ability to co-parent her child, Ms. Wong said. Andy Newman, New York Times, 25 June 2021

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

Noun

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

Verb

1663, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for parent

Noun

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

Verb

derivative of parent entry 1

Learn More About parent

Time Traveler for parent

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near parent

parenesis

parent

parentage

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for parent

Last Updated

23 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Parent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/parent. Accessed 29 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for parent

parent

noun
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

parent

noun
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 parent (audio) \ adjective

parent

noun
par·​ent

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 parent (audio) \ adjective
parentally adverb

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