father figure


Definition of father figure 

: a person often of particular power or influence who serves as an emotional substitute for a father

Examples of father figure in a Sentence

The coach was a stern, wise father figure to his players.

Recent Examples on the Web

Lisa’s longtime psychiatrist became a trustworthy father figure, as did a sympathetic neighbor. Donna Rifkind, WSJ, "‘Small Fry’ Review: Coming of Age in Silicon Valley," 6 Sep. 2018 Instead of trying out new tricks, returning director Peyton Reed sticks to what works: Paul Rudd's comedic chemistry as Scott Lang with reluctant father figure Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and love interest Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly). David Betancourt, chicagotribune.com, "'Ant-Man and the Wasp' is pretty much exactly like the first movie, and that's a good thing," 2 July 2018 Gone are the constant cravings and father figure euphemisms; coyness is unnecessary. Jason Parham, WIRED, "A New Age of Queer Pop Is Here—And Artists Want to Talk," 22 June 2018 Teresa Giudice publicly acknowledged one father figure in her family while leaving out another patriarch. Karen Mizoguchi, PEOPLE.com, "Teresa Giudice Honors Her Dad but Not Husband Joe on Father's Day — and Neither Does Daughter Gia," 19 June 2018 For some of the kids, Williams became a father figure, even taking them into his home to live with him when their parents weren't in the picture. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "In 1980, a 19-year-old helped a Milwaukee kid make better choices. Today, they're still changing lives.," 9 July 2018 Joel, who has become a father figure to Ellie after the events of the first game, is mentioned but never seen. Casey Newton, The Verge, "The Last of Us: Part II will be a tale of revenge, its director says," 14 June 2018 Children who bond early with their fathers (or father figures), in fact, often possess sharper cognitive skills, are better problem-solvers and perform more strongly in school, putting them at an advantage over children with distant or absent dads. Bevone Ritchie, M.s., miamiherald, "Male role models make a huge impact on a child's life," 12 June 2018 And the Ghost has father issues as well, principally pertaining to feelings of abandonment, which a surrogate father figure (Laurence Fishburne) hopes to heal. Soren Andersen, The Seattle Times, "‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’: Paul Rudd is back in busy little sequel," 2 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of father figure

1916, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for father figure

Last Updated

22 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for father figure

The first known use of father figure was in 1916

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More Definitions for father figure

father figure


English Language Learners Definition of father figure

: an older man who is respected and admired like a father

father figure

fa·​ther figure | \ˈfät͟h-ər- \

Medical Definition of father figure 

: one often of particular power or influence who serves as an emotional substitute for a father

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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