"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[pair-uh nt, par-] /ˈpɛər ənt, ˈpær-/
a father or a mother.
an ancestor, precursor, or progenitor.
a source, origin, or cause.
a protector or guardian.
Biology. any organism that produces or generates another.
Physics. the first nuclide in a radioactive series.
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
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin parent- (stem of parēns), noun use of present participle of parere to bring forth, breed
Related forms
parentless, adjective
parentlike, adjective
nonparent, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for parents
  • Thither the boys who are to be initiated are conducted blindfold, followed by their parents and relations.
  • Kids have discovered a diabolical new use for science: rebutting their parents.
  • There she began talking to parents and community leaders about starting an early college high school on the reservation.
  • It was so bad that the school librarian even called in my parents to express concern over my reading habits.
  • For thousands of years, people on every continent lived much the same way their parents and grandparents lived.
  • Her parents were divorced within a year of his return.
  • And she says parents who report being sarcastic themselves have kids who are better at understanding sarcasm.
  • They would then take the information home to parents, who probably aren't aware of it either.
  • Wanted to take my parents on an excursion of the island but not sure where the nicest points of interest are.
  • He has motivated school, parents and the general public all this while.
British Dictionary definitions for parents


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 Forms
parenthood, noun
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for parents



early 15c. (late 12c. as a surname), from Old French parent "father, parent, relative, kin" (11c.), from Latin parentem (nominative parens) "father or mother, ancestor," noun use of present participle of parere "bring forth, give birth to, produce," from PIE root *pere- "to bring forth" (see pare). Began to replace native elder after c.1500.


1660s, from parent (n.). Related: Parented; parenting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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parents in Medicine

parent par·ent (pâr'ənt, pār'-)

  1. One who begets, gives birth to, or nurtures and raises a child; a father or a mother.

  2. An ancestor; a progenitor.

  3. An organism that produces or generates offspring.

v. par·ent·ed, par·ent·ing, par·ents
  1. To act as a parent to; to rear and nurture.

  2. 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.
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