- a male parent.
- a father-in-law, stepfather, or adoptive father.
- any male ancestor, especially the founder of a family or line; progenitor.
- a man who exercises paternal care over other persons; paternal protector or provider: a father to the poor.
- a person who has originated or established something: the father of modern psychology; the founding fathers.
- a precursor, prototype, or early form: The horseless carriage was the father of the modern automobile.
- one of the leading men in a city, town, etc.: a scandal involving several of the city fathers.
- Chiefly British. the oldest member of a society, profession, etc.Compare dean1(def 3).
- a priest.
- (initial capital letter) Theology. the Supreme Being and Creator; God.
- a title of respect for an elderly man.
- the Father, Theology. the first person of the Trinity.
- Also called church father. Church History. any of the chief early Christian writers, whose works are the main sources for the history, doctrines, and observances of the church in the early ages.
- (often initial capital letter)a title of reverence, as for church dignitaries, officers of monasteries, monks, confessors, and especially priests.
- a person bearing this title.
- fathers, Roman History. conscript fathers.
- to beget.
- to be the creator, founder, or author of; originate.
- to act as a father toward.
- to acknowledge oneself the father of.
- to assume as one's own; take the responsibility of.
- to charge with the begetting of.
- 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
Examples from the Web for father
What matters is being honest, humble, and a faithful and loyal friend, father and member of your community.Abramoff’s Advice for Virginia’s New Jailhouse Guv
Tim Mak, Jackie Kucinich
January 7, 2015
Father Joel Román Salazar died in a car crash in 2013; his death was ruled an accident, but the suspicion of foul play persists.Mexico’s Priests Are Marked for Murder
January 7, 2015
Charles “Father” Coughlin, a raving anti-Semite, was one of the most popular radio hosts in the country.Why Was Bess Myerson the First and Last Jewish Miss America?
January 7, 2015
“I heard them say, ‘He was shot twice,’” the father, Joseph Dossi, remembers.
The father of the wounded Officer Andrew Dossi sums it up perfectly.
Do you mean that my father was mixed up like those old Indians?
When he came, Paralus looked upon him with a smile of recognition, and said, "My father!"
The Milbreys, father and son, came up and greeted the group on the piazza.
"In truth, my father, I wished to avoid the pain of parting," rejoined Philæmon.
For some time after the interview with his father, Paralus remained very wakeful.
- a male parent
- a person who founds a line or family; forefather
- any male acting in a paternal capacityRelated adjective: paternal
- (often capital) a respectful term of address for an old man
- a male who originates somethingthe father of modern psychology
- a leader of an association, council, etc; eldera city father
- British the eldest or most senior member in a society, profession, etcfather of the bar
- (often plural) a senator or patrician in ancient Rome
- the father of informal a very large, severe, etc, example of a specified kindthe father of a whipping
- to procreate or generate (offspring); beget
- to create, found, originate, etc
- to act as a father to
- to acknowledge oneself as father or originator of
- (foll by on or upon) to impose or place without a just reason
- 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
Word Origin and History for father
Old English fæder "father, male ancestor," from Proto-Germanic *fader (cf. Old Saxon fadar, Old Frisian feder, Dutch vader, Old Norse faðir, Old High German fater, German vater), from PIE *pəter (cf. Sanskrit pitar-, Greek pater, Latin pater, Old Persian pita, Old Irish athir "father"), presumably from baby-speak sound like pa.
The classic example of Grimm's Law, where PIE "p-" becomes Germanic "f-." Spelling with -th- (15c.) reflects widespread phonetic shift in Middle English that turned -der to -ther in many words; spelling caught up to pronunciation in 1500s (cf. burden, murder).
c.1400, from father (n.). Related: Fathered; fathering.