par·​ri·​cide | \ ˈper-ə-ˌsīd How to pronounce parricide (audio) , ˈpa-rə- \

Definition of parricide

1 [Latin parricida killer of a close relative, from parri- (perhaps akin to Greek pēos kinsman by marriage) + -cida -cide] : one that murders his or her father, mother, or a close relative
2 [Latin parricidium murder of a close relative, from parri- + -cidium -cide] : the act of a parricide

Examples of parricide in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Willoughbys Rated PG for sugarcoated parricide. Natalia Winkelman, New York Times, 22 Apr. 2020 Everything seems to be pointing toward parricide, but the future is no simpler than the past. Adam Shatz, The New York Review of Books, 2 Jan. 2020 To write in Baldwin’s wake means to displace the father-teacher in a Whitmanesque act of parricide—not to dutifully shoulder the same historical burdens, but to comprehend one’s own historical moment more clearly. Ismail Muhammad, Slate Magazine, 15 Feb. 2017 But University of Florida criminologist Kathleen Heide, who specializes in parricide or children who kill their parents, has said that the majority of kids are driven to kill a parent by severe trauma at the hands of that parent. Mary Emily O'hara, NBC News, 22 May 2017 Though parricide is a rare phenomenon, experts say abuse and neglect play a pivotal role in many cases of children who kill their parents. Andrea Simakis,, 21 May 2017

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

First Known Use of parricide

circa 1545, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of parricide was circa 1545

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Cite this Entry

“Parricide.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for parricide


par·​ri·​cide | \ ˈpar-ə-ˌsīd How to pronounce parricide (audio) \

Legal Definition of parricide

1 : a person who murders his or her mother or father or sometimes a close relative
2 : the act of a parricide

History and Etymology for parricide

Latin parricida killer of a close relative

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for parricide


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