1. One's female child.
2. A female descendant.
3. A woman considered as if in a relationship of child to parent: a daughter of the nation.
4. One that is personified or regarded as a female descendant: "Culturally Japan is a daughter of Chinese civilization" (Edwin O. Reischauer).
5. The immediate product of the radioactive decay of an element.
1. Possessing the characteristics of a daughter; having the relationship of a daughter.
2. Of or relating to a cell, organelle, or other structure produced by division or replication: daughter cell; daughter DNA.
3. Produced by or resulting from the decay of a radioactive element: daughter atom; daughter nuclide.
[Middle English doughter, from Old English dohtor; see dhugəter- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.