- 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.
- to be or act as parent of: to parent children with both love and discipline.
Origin of parent
Examples from the Web for parentless
And Michael Oher was in fact a parentless, homeless kid who was adopted by a white family and now plays for the Baltimore Ravens.Is Sandra Bullock's New Movie Racist?
December 3, 2009
The fact remains that millions of children around the globe are parentless due to circumstances beyond their control.The New Movie Parents Hate
Melissa Fay Greene
July 15, 2009
He remembered the days of his own childhood, his parentless childhood.The Happy Unfortunate
The effort now is to bring the childless and the parentless together.The Bible and Life
Edwin Holt Hughes
He had his paternal rights even here—Els and Eva were not parentless orphans.In The Fire Of The Forge, Complete
That was the only kinship they could claim—this slim, pale scion of a worn-out line, and the nameless, parentless girl beside her.The Firing Line
Robert W. Chambers
Certainly Marion had few interests in the town that had been the scene of the domestic tragedy that had left her parentless.The Ranchman
Charles Alden Seltzer
- having no living parents; orphaned
- a father or mother
- a person acting as a father or mother; guardian
- rare an ancestor
- a source or cause
- an organism or organization that has produced one or more organisms or organizations similar to itself
- (as modifier)a parent organism
- physics chem
- a precursor, such as a nucleus or compound, of a derived entity
- (as modifier)a parent nucleus; a parent ion
Word Origin and History for parentless
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.
- One who begets, gives birth to, or nurtures and raises a child; a father or mother.
- An ancestor; a progenitor.
- An organism that produces or generates offspring.
- To act as a parent to; to rear and nurture.
- To cause to come into existence; to serve as a source for; originate.