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Alternative formsEdit


An adaptation of the German Pädophilie, bringing its spelling into conformity with pedo- +‎ -philia. Compare the Byzantine Greek παιδοφιλία (paidophilía, love of children).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌpiː.dəˈfɪ.li.ə/
  • (file)
  • (General Australian) IPA(key): /ˌpe.dəˈfɪ.li.ə/
    Rhymes: -ɪliə
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌpɛ.dəˈə/
  • Hyphenation: ped‧o‧phil‧i‧a


pedophilia (countable and uncountable, plural pedophilias) (American spelling)

  1. Sexual attraction to children by adults.
    Synonyms: childlove (euphemistic), pederosis
    Antonyms: teleiophilia, pedophobia
    Coordinate terms: hebephilia, ephebophilia, korephilia, teleiophilia
    Hypernym: paraphilia
    • 2007, Margaret Mary Wright, Judicial decision making in child sexual abuse cases, page 122:
      As noted earlier, pedophilia was cited as both an aggravating and a mitigating circumstance by trial judges, as was the absence of pedophilia.
    • 2009, Ann Kring, Sheri Johnson, Gerald C. Davison, Abnormal Psychology:
      Sometimes a man with pedophilia is content to stroke the child's hair, but he may also manipulate the child's genitalia, [...]
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:pedophilia.
  2. Sexual activity between adults and children.
    • 1998, Kaufman, Andrew L., Cardozo, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, →ISBN, page 25:
      Fifteen months later, a committee of the congregation found that he had sexually abused several boys within the congregation. [] The fact that Alger committed pedophilia at the age of thirty-four casts a shadow over his subsequent yearning for relationships with boys and young men, but there is no evidence of any later misconduct.
    • 2005, Carol Weiss Lewis, Stuart Gilman, The ethics challenge in public service: a problem-solving guide, 2 edition, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, →ISBN, page 88:
      Entire books have been written about the role of scandal in US politics (Garment, 1992). Offenses include smoking marijuana, hiring illegal aliens, plagiarizing, sexually harassing others, engaging in pedophilia, []
    • 2007, Oppenheimer, Todd, “Read All about It -- but Where, Exactly?”, in SFGate[1], Hearst Communications:
      It's quite another (a bad idea) to expect amateurs to figure out who is telling the truth about Iraq, or which priests have committed pedophilia.
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:pedophilia.

Usage notesEdit

  • Many psychologists recommend against using the term pedophilia to denote sexual activities with children, because not all people with a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children (i.e., pedophilia) commit such acts, and child molesters often lack a strong sexual interest in prepubescent children.[1][2] Furthermore, psychological texts define pedophilia as a primary or exclusive attraction towards specifically prepubescent children;[3] primary attraction towards pubescent children is known as hebephilia and towards post-pubescent adolescents as ephebophilia. See Wikipedia for more information.


  • (psychiatry): pedophilic disorder (a clinical diagnostic classification) (American Psychiatric Association)

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


  1. ^ Seto, Michael (2008). Pedophilia and Sexual Offending Against Children. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. p. vii.
  2. ^ Lanning, Kenneth V. (2010). Child Molesters: A Behavioral Analysis (fifth ed.). National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. pp. 29–30 (45–46 of PDF).
  3. ^ American Psychiatric Association, ed. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (fifth ed.). American Psychiatric Publishing. p. 697.