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[pey-ter; also for 2, 3 pat-er]
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  1. British Informal. father.
  2. (often initial capital letter) the paternoster; Lord's Prayer.
  3. a recitation of it.

Origin of pater

1300–50; Middle English < Latin: father


  1. Walter Horatio,1839–94, English critic, essayist, and novelist.

Pater Patriae

[pah-ter pah-tree-ahy; English pey-ter pey-tree-ee, pat-er pa-tree-ee]
  1. Latin. father of his country.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pater

Historical Examples

  • Mr. Pater let me know that he was writing on it for the Guardian.

    A Writer's Recollections (In Two Volumes), Volume II

    Mrs. Humphry Ward

  • "Pater, we may as well keep Howards End out of it," he said.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • No, pater; but you may be taking on a bigger business than you reckon.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • You're bound to listen to me, for what's the use of calling me 'pater,' and all that, if you don't mind what I say?

    Tom Brown at Rugby

    Thomas Hughes

  • Don't let the Mater and Pater get the wind up about my personal safety.

British Dictionary definitions for pater


  1. British mainly facetious a public school slang word for father

Word Origin

from Latin


  1. Walter (Horatio). 1839–94, English essayist and critic, noted for his prose style and his advocation of the "love of art for its own sake". His works include the philosophical romance Marius the Epicurean (1885), Studies in the History of the Renaissance (1873), and Imaginary Portraits (1887)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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