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A daughter is a female offspring; a girl, woman, or female animal in relation to her parents. The male equivalent is a son. Analogously the name is used on several areas to show relations between groups or elements.


Female offspring

In patriarchal societies, daughters often enjoy different or lesser familial rights than sons. A family may prefer to have sons rather than daughters, with the daughters subjected to female infanticide. In some societies it is the custom for a daughter to be 'sold' to her husband, who must pay a bride price. The reverse of this custom, where the parents pay the husband a sum of money to compensate for the financial burden of the woman, is found in societies where women do not labour outside the home, and is referred to as dowry.

In many cases, daughters in a family where there is a son do not inherit. In British heraldry, women with brothers could not inherit their father's coat of arms; though they could display it and impale it with their husband's, they could not pass it to their children. If there were no surviving brothers, all the daughters in the family inherited the coat of arms, becoming heraldic heiresses in their own right. Their marital achievement would then feature the wife's arms on an inescutcheon of pretense, and they could transmit their arms to their children as a quarter.


A daughter is the female offspring of the animal.


A daughter plant is an offspring grown out of a part of the plant, for example out of a leaf.

Genderless Species

The term daughter is also sometimes used to refer to offspring in the case of genderless species or cell division, where the parent is referred to as mother. It can also refer to something personified in relation to its source, as in Truth is the daughter of Time.

General Relationship

The term can also refer to the subordinate in any relationship where the superior entity is referred to as mother, for example, a daughter ship. It may depend on time relations or on structure relations.


In physics, a daughter is a nuclide formed by radioactive decay of another.


In linguistics, a daughter is any of a later language derived from an earlier language. It may also be a node in a phrase structure tree, subordinated to a node of an higher level.


In computing, a daughterboard or daughter card is a subordinate extension of a motherboard. It is attached typically more directly than a expansion card, and typically is integral to the motherboard's operation.

Last updated: 02-08-2005 10:29:50
Last updated: 02-25-2005 00:58:04