[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. filene,
  2. filene, edward albert,
  3. filet,
  4. filet lace,
  5. filet mignon,
  6. filial generation,
  7. filial piety,
  8. filially,
  9. filiate,
  10. filiation

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

Examples from the Web for filial

British Dictionary definitions for filial


/ (ˈfɪljəl) /


of, resembling, or suitable to a son or daughterfilial affection
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 for filial

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

Medicine definitions for filial


[ fĭlē-əl ]


Relating to the relationship of offspring to parents.
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.