- 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
OTHER WORDS FROM paterfamiliaspa·ter·fa·mil·iar, adjectivepa·ter·fa·mil·iar·ly, adverb
Words nearby paterfamilias
How to use paterfamilias in a sentence
Motilal, the Nehru paterfamilias, had his suits made in Savile Row.
Behold a dumpy, comfortable British paterfamilias in a light flannel suit and a faded sun hat.God and my Neighbour|Robert Blatchford
His books were read in our homes, often aloud to the family circle by paterfamilias, and moved us to laughter or tears.
"Poor old paterfamilias," exclaimed the sympathizing friend with genuine feeling.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume II (of 3)|Charles James Wills
Si sciret paterfamilias qua hora fur uenturus esset; vigilaret utique non sineret perfodi domum suam.
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
British Dictionary definitions for paterfamilias
- the head of a household having authority over its members
- the parental or other authority of another person