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[fil-ee-uh l]
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  1. of, relating to, or befitting a son or daughter: filial obedience.
  2. noting or having the relation of a child to a parent.
  3. Genetics. pertaining to the sequence of generations following the parental generation, each generation being designated by an F followed by a subscript number indicating its place in the sequence.

Origin of filial

1350–1400; Middle English < Late Latin fīliālis, equivalent to Latin fīli(us) son + -ālis -al1
Related formsfil·i·al·ly, adverbfil·i·al·ness, nounnon·fil·i·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for filial


  1. of, resembling, or suitable to a son or daughterfilial affection
  2. genetics designating any of the generations following the parental generation; F 1 indicates the first filial generation, F 2 the second, etcAbbreviation: F
Derived Formsfilially, adverbfilialness, noun

Word Origin

C15: from Late Latin fīliālis, from Latin fīlius son
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for filial


late 14c., from Middle French filial, from Late Latin filialis "of a son or daughter," from Latin filius "son," filia "daughter," possibly from a suffixed form of PIE root *bheue- "to be, exist, grow" (see be), though *dhe(i)- "to suck, suckle" (see fecund) "is more likely" [Watkins].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

filial in Medicine


([object Object])
  1. Relating to the relationship of offspring to parents.
  2. In genetics, relating to a generation or the sequence of generations following the parental generation.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

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