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[pey-ter; also for 2, 3 pat-er] /ˈpeɪ tər; also for 2, 3 ˈpæt ər/
British Informal. father.
(often initial capital letter) the paternoster; Lord's Prayer.
a recitation of it.
Origin of pater
1300-50; Middle English < Latin: father


[pey-ter] /ˈpeɪ tər/
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] /ˈpɑ tɛr ˈpɑ triˌaɪ; English ˈpeɪ tər ˈpeɪ triˌi, ˈpæt ər ˈpæ triˌi/
Latin. father of his country. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pater
Historical Examples
  • Mr. pater let me know that he was writing on it for the Guardian.

  • "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.

  • I tipped the pater a pointer on that long ago, and got well cursed for my pains.

    The Man Who Wins Robert Herrick
  • Names like Pappah, pater, and Pre would not cling to him; they fell off at once.

    In a Little Town Rupert Hughes
  • I could almost hear Davies saying that, as if pater had never so much as thought of it.

    Adventures in the Arts Marsden Hartley
  • It's an awful nuisance, and I shall probably have a row with the pater.'

    Sarah's School Friend

    May Baldwin
  • "High time for us—the pater's little infants—to be a-bed," he said, laughing.

    We Ten

    Lyda Farrington Kraus
British Dictionary definitions for pater


(Brit, mainly facetious) a public school slang word for father
Word Origin
from Latin


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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