par·​ent | \ˈper-ənt \

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 \ adjective
parentally \pə-​ˈren-​tᵊl-​ē \ adverb
parentless \ˈper-​ənt-​ləs \ 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

Ride-hailing company Lyft bought Motivate International Inc., the parent company of Citi Bike, earlier this year in a deal valued at roughly $250 million. Paul Berger, WSJ, "Lyft to Add 28,000 Citi Bikes and Expand Service," 29 Nov. 2018 OverDrive and ads Rakuten, Kobo's parent company, also owns OverDrive, the e-book distributor for many libraries in the US. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Kobo Forma review: A formidable opponent for Amazon’s Kindle Oasis," 22 Nov. 2018 Shares of Apple and Google’s parent company, Alphabet, are down more than 10 percent since the market peaked, while Facebook and Amazon have dropped more than 20 percent. Matt Phillips, The Seattle Times, "Tech stocks lead slump that erases November’s gain," 19 Nov. 2018 But since early 2016, parent company L Brands has reported quarter after quarter of declining sales and shrinking profits. Hilary George-parkin, Glamour, "What's Holding Victoria's Secret Back From Body Diversity on the Runway?," 9 Nov. 2018 The main opponent of Prop 127 is a group called Arizonans for Affordable Energy, which has received over $11 million from a group called Pinnacle West, the parent company of Arizona Public Service, the largest electricity provider in Arizona. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Environmental Measures on the 2018 Midterm Election Ballots You Should Know About," 18 Oct. 2018 These programs, like Safe2Tell Colorado (, are basically online tip lines that give students, parents, schools, and communities a way to anonymously report threatening behavior or safety concerns. As Told To Beth Dreher And Elissa Sanci, Woman's Day, "How to Keep Our Kids Safe in School as the Gun Debate Rages On," 25 Sep. 2018 His ability to put his hand on the back of an offensive lineman while waiting for the hole to open — much like a child sticking close to a parent in a crowded store — helps him make the remarkably difficult at times look remarkably easy. Will Graves, The Seattle Times, "Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell refuses to sign tag, out for 2018," 14 Nov. 2018 According to The American Addiction Centers, having a close relative, such as a parent or sibling, who struggles with alcohol use disorder increases the chances that a person will also struggle with the same addiction. 8. Eileen Reslen, Good Housekeeping, "10 Significant Moments You Missed From 'This Is Us' Last Night," 17 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The proximity could prove useful as the former couple continues to co-parent their two kids, Taylor and Brayden. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "See Inside Tarek El Moussa's Bachelor Pad Home Following Divorce From Christina," 2 Aug. 2018 But not everything needs to be parented, and sometimes 6’s protective energy can become domineering and controlling. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "The Basics of Numerology: How to Calculate Your Life Path and Destiny Numbers," 16 July 2018 Here's to moms everywhere who know parenting struggles too well! Madison Alcedo, Woman's Day, "This Mom Tweeted Hilarious Photo of Her Son Finding A Way Around No Food in the Living Room," 14 Mar. 2017 After catching up with Tony Hawk, now 50 and parenting four kids (plus two stepsons), SI's Jacob Feldman peels back the curtain on a different area of Hawk's life. Staff,, "How Joey Chestnut Dominates July 4, Tony Hawk's Other Major Talent and More," 6 July 2018 Work, play, and parenting all take place in the family’s sprawling Berlin apartment. Alex Ronan, Vogue, "Meet the Berlin Artist Making a Million Porcelain Dishes Before She Dies," 1 July 2018 Hagiuda acknowledged there is little data on whether fathers are unfit to parent young children. Amanda Erickson, Washington Post, "A senior Japanese official says raising toddlers is not a dad’s job," 29 May 2018 Jenner, who parents Stormi with boyfriend Travis Scott, has been slowly opening up about motherhood since welcoming her daughter on Feb. 1. Dave Quinn,, "Kylie Jenner Is Already Planning 5-Month-Old Daughter Stormi's 'Epic' First Birthday Party," 28 June 2018 Just one week after the birth of their daughter, the makeup mogul and her rapper bae have figured out a co-parenting routine that works for them despite their busy schedules. Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "Here's Exactly How Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott are Co-Parenting Stormi Webster," 9 Feb. 2018

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

5 Dec 2018

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 \

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- \

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 \ 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 \ adjective
parentally adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on parent

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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