1. of or relating to a parent.
  2. proper to or characteristic of a parent: parental feelings.
  3. having the relation of a parent
  4. Genetics. pertaining to the sequence of generations preceding the filial generation, each generation being designated by a P followed by a subscript number indicating its place in the sequence.
noun Usually parentals. Also called parental unit.
  1. Informal. one's parent (often preceded by the): I'm headed for a vacation with the parentals.

Origin of parental

1615–25; < Latin parentālis “of, belonging to parents,” equivalent to parent- parent + -ālis -al1
Related formspa·ren·tal·ly, adverbin·ter·par·en·tal, adjectivenon·pa·ren·tal, adjectivenon·pa·ren·tal·ly, adverbpost·pa·ren·tal, adjectiveun·pa·ren·tal, adjectiveun·pa·ren·tal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for inter-parental


  1. of or relating to a parent or parenthood
  2. genetics designating the first generation in a line, which gives rise to all succeeding (filial) generations
Derived Formsparentally, adverb
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 inter-parental



1620s, from Latin parentalis "of parents," from parens (see parent (n.)). Related: Parentally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

inter-parental in Medicine


  1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a parent.
  2. Of or designating the generation of organisms from which hybrid offspring are produced.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.