[ greyt-gran-fah-ther, -grand- ]


  1. a grandfather of one's father or mother.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of great-grandfather1

First recorded in 1505–15

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Example Sentences

Earl Spencer adds, “Effectively, my great-grandfather sold his children to his father-in-law.”

His great-grandfather, David Yellin, was a prominent Zionist scholar and Israeli pioneer.

Lobanov hadn't seen the sea until he was 28, though he has some maritime roots—his great-grandfather was from the Greek islands.

His great grandfather sailed from Cape Verde and was involved in the whaling industry of Nantucket Island, Mass.

“Your great-grandfather killed my great-grandfather” can also do the trick.

You might do for the United States what your English great-grandfather helped to do for this country in 1832.

That brave knight was my great, great grandfather, and he has often sat in this very chair in which I am sitting now.

A spendthrift rallying a miser, among other things, said, "I'll warrant these buttons on your coat were your great-grandfather's."

From a cold country called Newfoundland his great grandfather came.

I think my grandfather saw them, or my great-grandfather, somewhere back there.


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More About Great Grandfather

What does great-grandfather mean?

A great-grandfather is the father of a person’s grandparent (the grandfather of a person’s parent).

When a father’s child has their own children, that father becomes a grandfather. When those children have their own children, he becomes a great-grandfather.

Should great-grandfather be capitalized?

Great-grandfather should be capitalized when it’s used as a proper name, as in Please tell Great-grandfather that I miss him. 

But great-grandfather does not need to be capitalized when it’s simply used as a way to refer to him, as in Please tell my great-grandfather that I miss him. 

Example: My kids were lucky enough to get to know three of their great-grandfathers.

Where does great-grandfather come from?

The first records of the word great-grandfather come from the 1500s. The prefix grand- is used in family terms to indicate a person who is one generation removed, as in grandparent and grandchild. The prefix great- indicates yet another generation.

Another great- can be added for each generation. For example, your great-great-grandfather is the father of your great-grandfather. Most people refer to their great-grandfathers with titles like great-grandpa and great-grandpop, sometimes in combination with a name, as in Great-Grandpa Frank.

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What are some synonyms for great-grandfather?

What are some words that share a root or word element with great-grandfather

What are some words that often get used in discussing great-grandfather?

How is great-grandfather used in real life?

Great-grandfather can be used as a title, but many families use their own unique names. Still, the title that grandchildren use for their grandfather often stays the same even after he becomes a great-grandfather.



Try using great-grandfather!

Is great-grandfather used correctly in the following sentence?

I’m a great-grandfather of 18, a grandfather of 12, and a father of four, so I know a thing or two about temper tantrums.