Word of the Day : August 11, 2016


adjective FIL-ee-ul


1 : of, relating to, or befitting a son or daughter

2 : having or assuming the relation of a child or offspring

Did You Know?

Filial is descended from Latin filius, meaning "son," and filia, meaning "daughter," and in English (where it has been used since at least the 14th century) it has always applied to both sexes. The word has long carried the dutiful sense "owed to a parent by a child," as found in such phrases as "filial respect" and "filial piety." These days it can also be used more generally for any emotion or behavior of a child to a parent. You might suspect that filia is also the source of the word filly, meaning "a young female horse" or "a young girl," but it isn't. Rather, filly is from Old Norse fylja.


Margaret's sense of filial responsibility is only part of her motivation for carrying on her parents' business; she also loves the work.

"Though initially reluctant, the old champ agrees to coach the young boxer, and they form a filial bond that grows in tandem with the stakes they face." — Sandy Cohen, The Post & Courier (Charleston, South Carolina), 24 Nov. 2015

Word Family Quiz

Unscramble the letters to create a verb derived from Latin filius that can mean "to bring or receive into close connection as a member or branch": IEFLAIFTA.



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