ˈfä-t͟hə-rən-ˌlȯ How to pronounce father-in-law (audio)
plural fathers-in-law ˈfä-t͟hər-zən-ˌlȯ How to pronounce father-in-law (audio)
: the father of one's spouse
archaic : stepfather

Examples of father-in-law in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Middleton's father-in-law, King Charles, is currently hosting Korean president Yoon Suk Yeol at his home base in London, so there have been a variety of events requiring expert hat-and-hairstyle work. Kara Nesvig, Allure, 22 Nov. 2023 After the speech concludes, his father-in-law and mother-in-law come up to give him a hug. Emi Tuyetnhi Tran, NBC News, 21 Nov. 2023 The arc of their married life suddenly changed in 1953, when Mrs. Carter’s father-in-law died of cancer, and Jimmy Carter decided to give up his Navy career and return to the family business in Plains. Kevin Sullivan, Washington Post, 19 Nov. 2023 For any in-law who appreciates a family moment Aura Frames Carver Frame $149 at Aura Frames $149 at Amazon If there’s one gift that truly any mother- or father-in-law will appreciate, this would be it: the Aura Carver Frame. Karen I. Chen, wsj.com, 17 Nov. 2023 Princess Kate also had another important event this week: her father-in-law King Charles' 75th birthday! Stephanie Petit, Peoplemag, 17 Nov. 2023 Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales (Kate Middleton) chose an appropriately sparkly dress for a glitzy event: her father-in-law King Charles III's 75th birthday. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, 15 Nov. 2023 On Tuesday, the Princess of Wales was seen leaving her father-in-law’s birthday bash with Prince William at the wheel of the car. Janine Henni, Peoplemag, 15 Nov. 2023 The murder of three people should not lead to an opera note by me: but the title character in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, by Shostakovich, kills her father-in-law that way. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 6 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'father-in-law.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of father-in-law was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near father-in-law

Cite this Entry

“Father-in-law.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/father-in-law. Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


plural fathers-in-law
: the father of one's husband or wife

More from Merriam-Webster on father-in-law

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