Word of the Day – Filial

Word of the Day : September 30, 2021


adjective FIL-ee-ul

What It Means

Filial means “of, relating to, or befitting a person’s child.”

// Margaret’s sense of filial responsibility is only part of her motivation for carrying on her parents’ business; she also loves the work.

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“The text purports to be Geppetto’s captivity journal…. He recounts the story of Pinocchio’s creation and truancy; he records [that] he continues to make art, painting portraits of lost loves and fashioning filialsurrogates—lifeless, alas—out of old hard tack and shards of crockery.” — Bruce Handy, The New York Times, 14 Feb. 2021

Did You Know?

Filial comes from Latin filius, meaning “son,” and filia, “daughter”; in English, it applies to any gender. The word has long carried the dutiful sense “owed to a parent by a child,” as found in such phrases as “filial respect” and “filial piety.” These days it can also be used more generally for any emotion or behavior of a child to a parent.