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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) and 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. (general use) An adult who is sexually attracted to or engages in sexual acts with a child.
  2. (psychiatry) 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.

Usage notes

  • In the US, the official psychiatric designation for pedophilic disorder (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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