noun, plural pa·ter·fa·mil·i·as·es for 1, pa·tres·fa·mil·i·as [pey-treez-fuh-mil-ee-uh s, pah-, pa-] /ˌpeɪ triz fəˈmɪl i əs, ˌpɑ-, ˌpæ-/ for 2.
- the head of the Roman family; a juridical entity who holds the patria potestas.
- a person who is not under the patria potestas of another.
Origin of paterfamilias
Related formspa·ter·fa·mil·iar, adjectivepa·ter·fa·mil·iar·ly, adverb
Examples from the Web for paterfamilias
Motilal, the Nehru paterfamilias, had his suits made in Savile Row.
Paterfamilias at the door, smoking a cigar—a lad of ten years of age appears.Lands of the Slave and the Free|Henry A. Murray
He knew, moreover, that when both mother and daughter have set their hearts on a single man, paterfamilias is powerless.Tonio, Son of the Sierras|Charles King
In this way a wife could divorce a lunatic husband, or the paterfamilias of a lunatic wife could divorce her from her husband.
British Dictionary definitions for paterfamilias
noun plural patresfamilias (ˌpɑːtreɪzfəˈmɪlɪˌæs)
- the head of a household having authority over its members
- the parental or other authority of another person