[ pey-ter-fuh-mil-ee-uhs, pah-, pat-er- ]
/ 藢pe瑟 t蓹r f蓹藞m瑟l i 蓹s, 藢p蓱-, 藢p忙t 蓹r- /
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noun, plural pa路ter路fa路mil路i路as路es for 1, pa路tres路fa路mil路i路as [pey-treez-fuh-mil-ee-uhs, pah-, pa-] /藢pe瑟 triz f蓹藞m瑟l i 蓹s, 藢p蓱-, 藢p忙-/ for 2.
the male head of a household or family, usually the father.
Roman Law.
  1. the head of the Roman family; a juridical entity who holds the patria potestas.
  2. a person who is not under the patria potestas of another.
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Origin of paterfamilias

1425鈥75; late Middle English <Latin: literally, father (i.e., master) of the household, with archaic genitive form famili膩s of familia;see family

OTHER WORDS FROM paterfamilias

pa路ter路fa路mil路iar, adjectivepa路ter路fa路mil路iar路ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use paterfamilias in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for paterfamilias

/ (藢pe瑟t蓹f蓹藞m瑟l瑟藢忙s) /

noun plural patresfamilias (藢p蓱藧tre瑟zf蓹藞m瑟l瑟藢忙s)
the male head of a household
Roman law
  1. the head of a household having authority over its members
  2. the parental or other authority of another person

Word Origin for paterfamilias

Latin: father of the family
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012