Definition of filial in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfɪlɪəl/


1Relating to or due from a son or daughter: a display of filial affection
More example sentences
  • At least some of them must have experienced a bit of filial affection that they had been longing to get when he said he was to be treated like their son.
  • Besides, the rule prevents the sacrifice of life to which filial affection might expose a generous youth, who in his conscience may condemn his father's conduct.
  • The emerging generation are more and more impervious to standard school indoctrination, less ready to give up their seats on buses, less respectful and filial.
dutiful, devoted, loyal, faithful, compliant, respectful, dedicated, affectionate, loving;
befitting a son or daughter, familial
2 Biology Denoting the offspring of a cross. See also F1 (sense 1).
Example sentences
  • Every second generation during backcrossing, we mated the first filial offspring of the parental backcross to recover the recessive phenotype.



Example sentences
  • In order to attain their salvation, they also had to be honest, gentle, obedient, merciful, filially pietistic, and patient - all attributes of the perfect wife and mother.
  • Her last name, Price, links her filially to the rules of market exchange.
  • She is filially loving but also rebellious and mischievous.


Late Middle English: from Old French, or from ecclesiastical Latin filialis, from filius 'son', filia 'daughter'.

  • affiliate from early 17th century:

    We talk about parent companies, so why not child companies? This is literally what an affiliated company is. The first meaning of affiliate was ‘to adopt as a son’, and the word ultimately came from Latin filius ‘son’, from which we also get filial (Late Middle English). By the mid 18th century affiliate was being used to mean ‘to adopt as a subordinate member of a society or company’.

Words that rhyme with filial


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: fil¦ial

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