Dictionary.com

paterfamilias

[ pey-ter-fuh-mil-ee-uhs, pah-, pat-er- ]
/ ˌpeɪ tər fəˈmɪl i əs, ˌpɑ-, ˌpæt ər- /
Save This Word!

noun, plural pa·ter·fa·mil·i·as·es for 1, pa·tres·fa·mil·i·as [pey-treez-fuh-mil-ee-uhs, pah-, pa-] /ˌpeɪ triz fəˈmɪl i əs, ˌpɑ-, ˌpæ-/ 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.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON "WAS" VS. "WERE"!

Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Meet Grammar Coach

Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing

Meet Grammar Coach

Improve Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of paterfamilias

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

OTHER WORDS FROM paterfamilias

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

Example sentences from the Web for paterfamilias

British Dictionary definitions for paterfamilias

paterfamilias
/ (ˌpeɪtəfəˈmɪlɪˌæs) /

noun plural patresfamilias (ˌpɑːtreɪzfəˈmɪlɪˌæs)

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 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
FEEDBACK