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From Middle English ofspring, from Old English ofspring (offspring, descendants, posterity), equivalent to off- +‎ spring. Compare Icelandic afspringur (offspring). More at off, spring.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈɒfspɹɪŋ/
    • (file)
  • (US) enPR: äfʹsprĭng, IPA(key): /ˈɔfspɹɪŋ/, /ˈɑfspɹɪŋ/


offspring (plural offspring or offsprings)

  1. A person's daughter(s) and/or son(s); a person's children.
  2. All of a person's descendants, including further generations.
  3. An animal or plant's progeny or young.
    • 2013 May-June, Katrina G. Claw, “Rapid Evolution in Eggs and Sperm”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 3:
      In plants, the ability to recognize self from nonself plays an important role in fertilization, because self-fertilization will result in less diverse offspring than fertilization with pollen from another individual.
  4. (figuratively) Anything produced; the result of an entity's efforts.
    Artists often treasure their works as their immortal offspring.
  5. (computing) A process launched by another process.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The plural offsprings is mainly used for the computing sense.



Derived terms[edit]


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