of or relating to a parent.
proper to or characteristic of a parent: parental feelings.
having the relation of a parent
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.

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for parental

Contemporary Examples of parental

Historical Examples of parental

  • The voice of parental and conjugal tenderness was silent in the grave!

  • I suspect that he was shocked at my neglect of parental duties.

    Some Reminiscences

    Joseph Conrad

  • Did they realize that it was poured before the altar of parental devotion?

    Peak and Prairie

    Anna Fuller

  • The mighty machines were far too powerful for the prejudices of parental hearts.


    John Spargo

  • And now, together with my parental blessing, I bequeath to you this doll.

    Russian Fairy Tales

    W. R. S. Ralston

British Dictionary definitions for parental



of or relating to a parent or parenthood
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 parental

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

parental in Medicine




Of, relating to, or characteristic of a parent.
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.