1

father

noun fa·ther \ ˈfä-t͟hər \
Updated on: 11 Dec 2017

Definition of father

1 a : a man who has begotten a child; also : sire 3
b capitalized
(1) : god 1
(2) : the first person of the Trinity (see Trinity 1)
2 : forefather
  • the founding fathers
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 often capitalized : a pre-Scholastic (see scholastic 1a) Christian writer accepted by the church as an authoritative witness to its teaching and practice called also church father
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
  • the father of all libraries in the country
6 : a priest of the regular clergy; broadly : priest used especially as a title
7 : one of the leading men (as of a city) usually used in plural
  • a council of the city fathers

fatherhood

play \ˈfä-t͟hər-ˌhu̇d\ noun

fatherless

play \ˈfä-t͟hər-ləs\ adjective

fatherlike

play \ˈfä-t͟hər-ˌlīk\ adjective or adverb

Examples of father in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of father from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'father.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of father

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

father Synonyms

Synonyms
dad, daddy, old man, pa, papa (also poppa), pater [chiefly British], pop, sire
Antonyms
descendant (also descendent)
Related Words
paterfamilias, patriarch; father figure, father image; stepfather
Near Antonyms
disciple, follower, pupil, student, supporter

2

father

verb

Definition of father

fathered; fathering play \ˈfät͟h-riŋ, ˈfä-t͟hə-\
transitive verb
1 a : beget
b : to be the founder, producer, or author of
  • fathered the improvement plan
c : to accept responsibility for
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
3 : foist, impose
intransitive verb
: to care for or look after someone as a father might

Examples of father in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of father from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'father.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of father

father Synonyms



FATHER Defined for English Language Learners

father

noun

Definition of father for English Language Learners

  • : 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


father

verb

Definition of father for English Language Learners

  • : 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)


FATHER Defined for Kids

1

father

noun fa·ther \ ˈfä-t͟hər \

Definition of father for Students

1 : a male parent
2 capitalized : god 1
3 : ancestor 1
4 : a person who cares for another as a father might
5 : a person who invents or begins something
  • the father of modern science
6 : priest Hint: This sense of father is used especially to address a priest or as a priest's title.

fatherhood

\-ˌhu̇d\ noun

fatherless

\-ləs\ adjective

2

father

verb

Definition of father for Students

fathered; fathering
1 : to become the father of
2 : to care for as a father
3 : to be the founder, producer, or author of
  • He fathered a new style of music.


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