godfather

[god-fah-th er]

noun

a man who serves as sponsor for a child at baptism.
any male sponsor or guardian.
(often initial capital letter) a powerful leader, especially of the Mafia.
a person who is regarded as the originator or principal shaper of a movement, school of thought, art form, industry, or the like: the godfather of abstract expressionism.

verb (used with object)

to act as godfather to; be sponsor or protector for.

Origin of godfather

before 1000; Middle English godfader, Old English godfæder. See God, father
Related formsgod·fa·ther·ly, adjective

Godfather, The

[god-fah-th er]

noun

a novel (1969) by Mario Puzo.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for godfather

elder, patron

Examples from the Web for godfather

Contemporary Examples of godfather

Historical Examples of godfather

  • When he started up, the Godfather Break of Day was peeping at its namesake.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • My godfather, who arrived early, nodded his head in a contented way.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • My godfather made a great fuss of her, for success was everything to this bourgeois.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • I refused him, and my godfather then asked to speak to me alone.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • My godfather Rgis seemed to be the exact counterpart of M. Meydieu.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt


British Dictionary definitions for godfather

godfather

noun

a male godparent
the head of a Mafia family or other organized criminal ring
an originator or leading exponentthe godfather of South African pop
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

Word Origin and History for godfather
n.

man who sponsors one at baptism, late 12c., from god + father (n.). In the Mafia sense, from 1963. Popularized by Mario Puzo's novel (1969) and the movie based on it (1972).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper