[ pair-uh n-ting, par- ]
/ ˈpɛər ən tɪŋ, ˈpær- /


the rearing of children: The schedule allows her very little time for parenting.
the methods, techniques, etc., used or required in the rearing of children: a course in parenting.
the state of being a parent; parenthood.


of or concerned with the rearing of children: good parenting skills.

Nearby words

  1. parenthesis,
  2. parenthesize,
  3. parenthetical,
  4. parenthood,
  5. parenticide,
  6. parentless,
  7. parents anonymous,
  8. parenty,
  9. pareo,
  10. parepididymis

Origin of parenting

First recorded in 1955–60; parent + -ing1

Usage note

Parenting has come to be favored over parenthood, rearing, and bringing up in sociological and educational literature and in popular writing.


[ pair-uh nt, par- ]
/ ˈpɛər ənt, ˈpær- /



being the original source: a parent organization.
Biology. pertaining to an organism, cell, or complex molecular structure that generates or produces another: parent cell; parent DNA.

verb (used with object)

to be or act as parent of: to parent children with both love and discipline.

Origin of parent

1375–1425; late Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin parent- (stem of parēns), noun use of present participle of parere to bring forth, breed

Related formspar·ent·less, adjectivepar·ent·like, adjectivenon·par·ent, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for parenting

British Dictionary definitions for parenting


/ (ˈpɛərəntɪŋ) /


the care and upbringing of a child


/ (ˈpɛərənt) /


a father or mother
a person acting as a father or mother; guardian
rare an ancestor
a source or cause
  1. an organism or organization that has produced one or more organisms or organizations similar to itself
  2. (as modifier)a parent organism
physics chem
  1. a precursor, such as a nucleus or compound, of a derived entity
  2. (as modifier)a parent nucleus; a parent ion
Derived Formsparenthood, noun

Word Origin for parent

C15: via Old French from Latin parens parent, from parere to bring forth

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 parenting
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for parenting


[ pârənt ]


One who begets, gives birth to, or nurtures and raises a child; a father or mother.
An ancestor; a progenitor.
An organism that produces or generates offspring.


To act as a parent to; to rear and nurture.
To cause to come into existence; to serve as a source for; originate.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.