par·​ent·​hood | \ ˈper-ənt-ˌhu̇d How to pronounce parenthood (audio) \

Definition of parenthood

: the state of being a parent specifically : the position, function, or standing of a parent

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for parenthood



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of parenthood in a Sentence

parenthood is a difficult task requiring great commitment

Recent Examples on the Web

Molina, who blogs about parenthood at, decided to treat herself since it was parked near her workout spot. Joseph Pisani, USA TODAY, "Who's that selling steaks, seafood and toys in a parking lot? It's Amazon's Treasure Truck," 14 June 2018 The Duchess isn't the only one who is excited about her impending parenthood. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "A Body Language Expert Analyzes What Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Might Be Like As Parents," 21 Mar. 2019 Many people still navigate forms of mental illness—eating disorders, depression, addictive tendencies, or any number of other mental health issues—and their recovery process while simultaneously navigating a journey to parenthood. Kate Willsky, SELF, "What It’s Like to Deal With Anorexia While You’re Pregnant," 8 Feb. 2019 This Prime original series created by Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan is a near-flawless study of adult relationships, parenthood, and aging. Tom Philip, GQ, "The Best Movies/TV to Stream on Amazon Prime This July 4," 3 July 2018 The May Mothers is a group of women in Brooklyn who have bonded over new parenthood and just want a night out to complain and laugh. Bethanne Patrick, The Seattle Times, "Six beach reads that bring more pleasure than guilt," 2 July 2018 The challenges for first-generation college students — a majority of our incoming classes — and non-traditional students who juggle parenthood and other life demands, are the center of our focus. Ken Trzaska, Washington Post, "Lesson from Liberal, Kan.: Community colleges must reach out more to communities," 12 June 2018 Following Thompson's multiple cheating allegations back in April, navigating parenthood and a healthy relationship has proven to be complicated for the couple, according to People. Megan Decker, Harper's BAZAAR, "Khloé Kardashian Is Reportedly Keeping Tristan Thompson "On a Tight Leash"," 29 May 2018 Erika Christensen used this Mother’s Day to reflect on new parenthood — and the power of breastfeeding. Jamie Spain,, "Erika Christensen Shares a Topless Throwback Breastfeeding Photo in Honor of Mother's Day," 14 May 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of parenthood

1853, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about parenthood

Statistics for parenthood

Last Updated

17 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for parenthood

The first known use of parenthood was in 1853

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for parenthood



English Language Learners Definition of parenthood

: the state of being a mother or a father

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on parenthood

What made you want to look up parenthood? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


likely to have or produce good results

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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