[ fah-th er ]
/ ˈfɑ ðər /


verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to perform the tasks or duties of a male parent; act paternally: Somehow he was able to write a book while actively fathering.

Origin of father

before 900; Middle English fader, Old English fæder; cognate with German Vater, Latin pater, Greek patḗr, Sanskrit pitar, Old Irish athir, Armenian hayr

Related forms

fa·ther·like, adjective

Can be confused

farther father further (see usage note at farther)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for father

British Dictionary definitions for father (1 of 2)


/ (ˈfɑːðə) /


verb (tr)

Derived Forms

fathering, noun

Word Origin for father

Old English fæder; related to Old Norse fathir, Old Frisian feder, Old High German fater, Latin pater, Greek patēr, Sanskrit pitr

British Dictionary definitions for father (2 of 2)


/ (ˈfɑːðə) /


God, esp when considered as the first person of the Christian Trinity
Also called: Church Father any of the writers on Christian doctrine of the pre-Scholastic period
a title used for Christian priests
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

Idioms and Phrases with father


see like father, like son.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.