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Offspring vs Young vs Progeny vs Issue vs Descendant vs Posterity

Offspring, youngprogenyissuedescendantposterity are comparable when they mean those who follow in direct parental line.

Offspring applies to those who are by birth immediately related to a parent; the term does not necessarily apply to human beings, for it may refer to animals or sometimes to plants.

Young is used most often of the offspring of animals.

Progeny usually applies to the offspring of a father or a mother or of both; the term more often refers to those of human parentage, but it is used occasionally of the offspring of animals and plants.

In comparison with offspring, however, it has somewhat extended use, being sometimes applied to those who trace their ancestry more remotely or to those who are the spiritual or intellectual successors of a great man.

Issue, chiefly a legal term, is more abstract than the preceding terms and is used merely to call attention to the fact that a union has or has not reproduced its kind.

Descendant, on the other hand, applies to anyone who has or, in the plural, to all who have a right to claim relationship with a person as an ancestor in direct line; the degree of nearness does not matter, but the relationship of each as child, grandchild, great-grandchild, and so on must exist.

Posterity differs from descendants only in connoting all the descendants of a common ancestor.

The term is also often used of the generations that come after a person, a race, or a people.