[ daw-ter ]
/ ˈdɔ tər /


a female child or person in relation to her parents.
any female descendant.
a person related as if by the ties binding daughter to parent: daughter of the church.
anything personified as female and considered with respect to its origin: The United States is the daughter of the 13 colonies.
Chemistry, Physics. an isotope formed by radioactive decay of another isotope.


Biology. pertaining to a cell or other structure arising from division or replication: daughter cell; daughter DNA.

Nearby words

  1. daudet, alphonse,
  2. daudet, léon,
  3. dauerschlaf,
  4. daugava,
  5. daugavpils,
  6. daughter cell,
  7. daughter cyst,
  8. daughter language,
  9. daughter star,
  10. daughter-in-law

Origin of daughter

before 950; Middle English doughter, Old English dohtor; cognate with German Tochter, Greek thygátēr, Sanskrit duhitā

Related formsdaugh·ter·less, adjectivedaugh·ter·like, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for daughter

British Dictionary definitions for daughter


/ (ˈdɔːtə) /


a female offspring; a girl or woman in relation to her parents
a female descendant
a female from a certain country, etc, or one closely connected with a certain environment, etca daughter of the church Related adjective: filial
(often capital) archaic a form of address for a girl or woman


biology denoting a cell or unicellular organism produced by the division of one of its own kind
physics (of a nuclide) formed from another nuclide by radioactive decay
Derived Forms

Word Origin for daughter

Old English dohtor; related to Old High German tohter daughter, Greek thugatēr, Sanskrit duhitá

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 daughter



Old English dohtor, from Proto-Germanic *dochter, earlier *dhukter (cf. Old Saxon dohtar, Old Norse dottir, Old Frisian and Dutch dochter, German Tochter, Gothic dauhtar), from PIE *dhugheter (cf. Sanskrit duhitar-, Avestan dugeda-, Armenian dustr, Old Church Slavonic dušti, Lithuanian dukte, Greek thygater). The common Indo-European word, lost in Celtic and Latin (Latin filia "daughter" is fem. of filius "son"). The modern spelling evolved 16c. in southern England. Daughter-in-law is attested from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper