Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[fil-ee-uh l] /ˈfɪl i əl/
of, relating to, or befitting a son or daughter:
filial obedience.
noting or having the relation of a child to a parent.
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 forms
filially, adverb
filialness, noun
nonfilial, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for filial
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • filial devotion to her father had been one motive, but not the only one.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • Her notions of filial duty, notwithstanding the persecutions she meets with.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Besides; if you are not filial, sir, if you discard that duty, you are at least—hum—not a Christian?

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • Her filial piety gives her dreadful faith in a father's curses.

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • He called him his son, but he required from him filial obedience.

    The Formation of Christendom, Volume VI

    Thomas W. (Thomas William) Allies
  • I believe he knew me in that connection76 and expected to appeal to my filial feelings.

    The Eternal City Hall Caine
  • Is filial piety to be called into existence by the mere announcement of relationship?

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • Nevertheless her filial piety was at that moment a touching sight.

    The Tavern Knight Rafael Sabatini
British Dictionary definitions for filial


of, resembling, or suitable to a son or daughter: filial affection
(genetics) designating any of the generations following the parental generation; F1 indicates the first filial generation, F2 the second, etc F
Derived Forms
filially, adverb
filialness, 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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source
filial in Medicine

filial fil·i·al (fĭl'ē-əl)

  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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for filial

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for filial

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for filial