par·​ri·​cide ˈper-ə-ˌsīd How to pronounce parricide (audio)
[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
[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 Pancakes and parricide, anyone? Joanna O'Leary, Chron, 24 Jan. 2021 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 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'parricide.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1545, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of parricide was circa 1545

Dictionary Entries Near parricide

Cite this Entry

“Parricide.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Legal Definition


par·​ri·​cide ˈpar-ə-ˌsīd How to pronounce parricide (audio)
: a person who murders his or her mother or father or sometimes a close relative
: the act of a parricide

Latin parricida killer of a close relative

More from Merriam-Webster on parricide

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