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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
parent \par"ent\ (p[^a]r"ent or p[=a]r"ent; 277), n. [L. parens, -entis; akin to parere to bring forth; cf. Gr. porei^n to give, beget: cf. F. parent. Cf. Part.] 1. One who begets, or brings forth, offspring; a father or a mother. [1913 Webster] Children, obey your parents in the Lord. --Eph. vi. 1. [1913 Webster] 2. That which produces; cause; source; author; begetter; as, idleness is the parent of vice. [1913 Webster] Regular industry is the parent of sobriety. --Channing. [1913 Webster] Parent cell. (Biol.) See Mother cell, under Mother, also Cytula. Parent nucleus (Biol.), a nucleus which, in cell division, divides, and gives rise to two or more daughter nuclei. See Karyokinesis, and Cell division, under Division. [1913 Webster]