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90s Slang You Should Know


[pair-uh nt, par-] /ˈpɛər ənt, ˈpær-/
a father or a mother.
an ancestor, precursor, or progenitor.
a source, origin, or cause.
a protector or guardian.
Biology. any organism that produces or generates another.
Physics. the first nuclide in a radioactive series.
being the original source:
a parent organization.
Biology. pertaining to an organism, cell, or complex molecular structure that generates or produces another:
parent cell; parent DNA.
verb (used with object)
to be or act as parent of:
to parent children with both love and discipline.
Origin of parent
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin parent- (stem of parēns), noun use of present participle of parere to bring forth, breed
Related forms
parentless, adjective
parentlike, adjective
nonparent, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for parent
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Almost a reproduction of its parent except that it is hardier.

    The Grapes of New York U. P. Hedrick
  • Or why so long (in life if long can be) Lent Heaven a parent to the poor and me?

    Essay on Man Alexander Pope
  • In nature the heat is applied by contact with the bodies of the parent birds.

    Our Domestic Birds John H. Robinson
  • The action was not based, as it would be nowadays, on the fault of the parent or owner.

    The Common Law Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
  • Their love delighted him, and he returned it with the fondness of a parent and the benevolence of a pastor.

    Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
British Dictionary definitions for parent


a father or mother
a person acting as a father or mother; guardian
(rare) an ancestor
a source or cause
  1. an organism or organization that has produced one or more organisms or organizations similar to itself
  2. (as modifier): a parent organism
(physics, chem)
  1. a precursor, such as a nucleus or compound, of a derived entity
  2. (as modifier): a parent nucleus, a parent ion
Derived Forms
parenthood, noun
Word Origin
C15: via Old French from Latin parens parent, from parere to bring forth
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
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Word Origin and History for parent

early 15c. (late 12c. as a surname), from Old French parent "father, parent, relative, kin" (11c.), from Latin parentem (nominative parens) "father or mother, ancestor," noun use of present participle of parere "bring forth, give birth to, produce," from PIE root *pere- "to bring forth" (see pare). Began to replace native elder after c.1500.


1660s, from parent (n.). Related: Parented; parenting.


1660s, from parent (n.). Related: Parented; parenting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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parent in Medicine

parent par·ent (pâr'ənt, pār'-)

  1. One who begets, gives birth to, or nurtures and raises a child; a father or a mother.

  2. An ancestor; a progenitor.

  3. An organism that produces or generates offspring.

v. par·ent·ed, par·ent·ing, par·ents
  1. To act as a parent to; to rear and nurture.

  2. To cause to come into existence; to serve as a source for; originate.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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