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noun fa·ther \ˈfä-thər\

Simple Definition of father

  • : a male parent

  • : a man who is thought of as being like a father

  • : a person who was in someone's family in past times

Full Definition of father

  1. 1 a :  a man who has begotten a child; also :  sire 3 b capitalized (1) :  god 1 (2) :  the first person of the Trinity

  2. 2 :  forefather

  3. 3 a :  one related to another in a way suggesting that of father to child b :  an old man —used as a respectful form of address

  4. 4 often capitalized :  a pre-Scholastic Christian writer accepted by the church as an authoritative witness to its teaching and practice —called also church father

  5. 5 a :  one that originates or institutes <the father of modern science> b :  source <the sun, the father of warmth and light — Lena M. Whitney> c :  prototype

  6. 6 :  a priest of the regular clergy; broadly :  priest —used especially as a title

  7. 7 :  one of the leading men (as of a city) —usually used in plural

fa·ther·hood play \-ˌhu̇d\ noun
fa·ther·less play \-ləs\ adjective
fa·ther·like play \-ˌlīk\ adjective or adverb

Examples of father

  1. He became a father when he was 30.

  2. He's the father of three small children.

  3. He has been like a father to me.

  4. He was a father to me after my own father died.

Origin of father

Middle English fader, from Old English fæder; akin to Old High German fater father, Latin pater, Greek patēr

First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with father



verb fa·ther

Simple Definition of father

  • : to become the father of (a child) : to make a woman pregnant so that she gives birth to (a child)

  • of a man : to invent, create, or produce (something)

Full Definition of father

fa·theredfa·ther·ing play \ˈfäth-riŋ, ˈfä-thə-\

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  beget b :  to be the founder, producer, or author of <fathered the improvement plan> c :  to accept responsibility for

  3. 2 a :  to fix the paternity or origin of b :  to place responsibility for the origin or cause of <collected gossip and fathered it on responsible men — J. A. Williamson>

  4. 3 :  foist, impose

  5. intransitive verb
  6. :  to care for or look after someone as a father might

Examples of father

  1. He was praised for fathering a plan to improve the city's schools.

  2. <Paul Revere somehow found room in his small house for the large family he had fathered.>

15th Century

First Known Use of father

15th century

FATHER Defined for Kids



noun fa·ther \ˈfä-thər\

Definition of father

  1. 1 :  a male parent

  2. 2 cap :  god 1

  3. 3 :  ancestor 1

  4. 4 :  a person who cares for another as a father might

  5. 5 :  a person who invents or begins something <the father of modern science>

  6. 6 :  priest Hint: This sense of father is used especially to address a priest or as a priest's title.

fa·ther·hood \-ˌhu̇d\ noun
fa·ther·less \-ləs\ adjective



verb fa·ther

Definition of father


  1. 1 :  to become the father of

  2. 2 :  to care for as a father

  3. 3 :  to be the founder, producer, or author of <He fathered a new style of music.>

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