par·ent (pârənt, păr-)
a. A female person whose egg unites with a sperm or a male person whose sperm unites with an egg, resulting in the conception of a child or the birth of a child.
b. A female person who is pregnant with or gives birth to a child except when someone else has legal rights to the child.
c. A person who adopts a child.
d. A person who raises a child.
2. An ancestor; a progenitor.
3. An organism that produces or generates offspring.
4. A guardian; a protector.
5. A parent company.
6. A source or cause; an origin: Despair is the parent of rebellion.
v. par·ent·ed, par·ent·ing, par·ents
1. To act as a parent to; raise and nurture: "A genitor who does not parent the child is not its parent" (Ashley Montagu).
2. To cause to come into existence; originate.
To act as a parent.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin parēns, parent-, from past active participle of parere, to give birth; see perə-1 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.