[ fah-ther-hood ]
/ ˈfɑ ðərˌhʊd /
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the state of being a father.
fathers collectively.
the qualities or spirit of a father.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of fatherhood

1350–1400; late Middle English faderhode; replacing Middle English faderheed.See father, -hood
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does fatherhood mean?

Fatherhood is the state of being a father.

A person enters fatherhood when they become a father. This most commonly happens when their child is born, but it can also happen through adoption or by marrying or becoming a partner to someone with children.

Fatherhood is a gender-specific version of the term parenthood.

Less commonly, fatherhood can refer to all fathers collectively, as in You won’t find a better dad in all of fatherhood. 

Example: People who have not experienced fatherhood probably shouldn’t be so quick to criticize how dads parent their children.

Where does fatherhood come from?

The first records of the word fatherhood come from around 1400. The suffix -hood indicates a state or condition—in this case, the state of being a father. It’s used in the same way in words like motherhood, parenthood, adulthood, and childhood.

Unlike adulthood, the start of fatherhood is very definite—it begins when a person becomes a father. After that, most fathers consider fatherhood to be a permanent state that lasts even after their children have grown up. In other words, once you become a father, you never stop being one. Fatherhood is usually considered very challenging due to all the difficulties of raising children, but it’s usually also considered very rewarding. It’s the toughest job you’ll ever love, as the saying goes.

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What are some synonyms for fatherhood?

What are some words that share a root or word element with fatherhood

What are some words that often get used in discussing fatherhood?

How is fatherhood used in real life?

The word fatherhood is often associated with the many challenges that it involves.



Try using fatherhood!

True or False?

Fatherhood is usually thought to end when a father’s child is an adult.

Example sentences from the Web for fatherhood

British Dictionary definitions for fatherhood

/ (ˈfɑːðəˌhʊd) /


the state or responsibility of being a father
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