[ fil-ee-uhl ]
See synonyms for filial on
  1. of, relating to, or befitting a son or daughter: filial obedience.

  2. noting or having the relation of a child to a parent.

  1. 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

Other words from filial

  • fil·i·al·ly, adverb
  • fil·i·al·ness, noun
  • non·fil·i·al, adjective

Words Nearby filial Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use filial in a sentence

  • Her husband noticed, and thought it was the expression of a deep filial attachment which he had never suspected.

  • The Chinese consul paternally tells his countrymen what they are to do, and they do it with filial submission.

    The Philippine Islands | John Foreman
  • Tatsu has been without kindred,—he knows not yet the sacred duties of filial love.

    The Dragon Painter | Mary McNeil Fenollosa
  • Let them not speak to us of a filial or respectful fear mingled with love, which men should have for their God.

  • I listened to her religious exhortations with a feeling of filial gratitude, and they sunk deep into my heart.

British Dictionary definitions for filial


/ (ˈfɪljəl) /

  1. of, resembling, or suitable to a son or daughter: filial affection

  2. genetics designating any of the generations following the parental generation; F 1 indicates the first filial generation, F 2 the second, etc: Abbreviation: F

Origin of filial

C15: from Late Latin fīliālis, from Latin fīlius son

Derived forms of filial

  • filially, adverb
  • filialness, noun

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