phil·​o·​pro·​gen·​i·​tive ˌfi-lə-prō-ˈje-nə-tiv How to pronounce philoprogenitive (audio)
: tending to produce offspring : prolific
: of, relating to, or characterized by love of offspring
philoprogenitiveness noun

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Philoprogenitive (a combination of phil-, meaning "loving" or "having an affinity for," and Latin progenitus, meaning "begot" or "begotten") can refer to the production of offspring or to the loving of them. Nineteenth-century phrenologists used the word to designate the "bump" or "organ" of the brain believed to be the seat of a parent's instinctual love for his or her children. Despite the word's scientific look and sound, however, it appears, albeit not very frequently, in all types of writing - technical, literary, informal, and otherwise.

Word History


phil- + Latin progenitus, past participle of progignere to beget — more at progenitor

First Known Use

1842, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of philoprogenitive was in 1842


Dictionary Entries Near philoprogenitive

Cite this Entry

“Philoprogenitive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

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