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See also: pédophile


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Alternative forms


From pedo- +‎ -phile, after Ancient Greek παιδοφῐ́λης (paidophílēs) (from παῖς (paîs, boy, child) +‎ φιλέω (philéō, I love)).


  • (UK) enPR: pēd'-ə-fīl', IPA(key): /ˈpiː.dəˌfaɪl/
  • (file)
  • (US, Canada) enPR: pĕd'-ə-fīl', IPA(key): /ˈpɛ.dəˌfaɪl/, /ˈpɛ.doʊˌfaɪl/
  • (General Australian) enPR: pĕd'-ə-fīl', IPA(key): /ˈpe.dəˌfɑel/, /ˈpɛ.dəʉˌfɑel/


pedophile (plural pedophiles) (American spelling)

  1. (psychiatry, sexology) A person aged 16 years old or older who is mostly or only sexually attracted toward prepubescent children. [from 20th c.]
    • 1982, National Council on Crime and Delinquency, Criminal Justice Abstracts, volume 14, page 253:
      Apart from his sexual behavior, the pedophile is typically law abiding.
    • 1986, Patrick B. McGuigan & Jon S. Pascale, Crime and Punishment in Modern America, page 109:
      The pedophile, a particular type of child molester, is an adult whose conscious sexual interests and overt sexual behavior are directly either partially or exclusively toward children.
  2. (by extension, common use) An adult who is sexually attracted to or engages in sexual acts with a child.

Usage notes

  • In the US, the official psychiatric designation for pedophilia (according to the DSM-IV) is: "Over a period of at least six months, recurrent, intense, sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children."




Derived terms

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