• Of or due from a son or daughter.
  • (Biology) Denoting the generation or generations after the parental generation.

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Example Sentences

“Anna’s filial duties included driving her parents to the doctor’s office every week.”

“Anthony couldn’t help but feel a kind of filial obligation to help his neighbor Mr. Jenkins.”

“The organization has an almost filial relationship with its parent company.”

Word Origin

Latin, late 14th century

Why this word?

This term developed in Middle English from Old French, but its origins can be found in the Latin words “filius” (“son”) and “filia” (“daughter”). Filial duties vary widely across different countries and cultures. The ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius emphasized the importance of filial piety: treating parents, elders, and ancestors with utmost respect. Confucius even laid out a full list of specific filial duties for sons and daughters, including observing good conduct that would reflect well on one’s parents and showing love, respect, and deference toward them.

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