Definition of philopatric in English:



  • (of an animal or species) tending to return to or remain near a particular site or area.

    • ‘The dispersal of the juveniles differs from that of most other promiscuous or polygynous mammals, being female-biased with a fraction of males remaining philopatric.’
    • ‘Like other waterfowl species, common goldeneye females are natal and breeding site philopatric.’
    • ‘The fact that close inbreeding is rarely observed even in highly philopatric species suggests that animals have mechanisms to avoid breeding with close kin.’
    • ‘Another problem is that philopatric and dispersing animals may often overlap in their distance moved because there is generally no clear shift in frequency distributions of distances moved.’
    • ‘Most individuals are philopatric; they return to the area near where they hatched to breed.’


1940s: from philo- ‘liking’ + Greek patra ‘fatherland’ + -ic.