founding father

noun

Definition of founding father

1 : an originator of an institution or movement : founder
2 often capitalized both Fs : a leading figure in the founding of the U.S. specifically : a member of the American Constitutional Convention of 1787

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of founding father in a Sentence

a tribute to Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and the other Founding Fathers Theodor Herzl is often credited as the founding father of modern Zionism.
Recent Examples on the Web Rodney Square, the heart of downtown Wilmington, was named after a founding father who rode overnight to Philadelphia to cast a deciding vote for the Declaration of Independence. New York Times, "After Centuries of Obscurity, Wilmington Is Having a Moment," 6 Dec. 2020 Domino, a son and (nearly) lifelong resident of the 9th Ward, was a founding father of rock ‘n’ roll. Keith Spera, NOLA.com, "Spera: If New Orleans streets are getting renamed, Fats Domino should top the list," 10 Dec. 2020 Yet the midnight ride of that founding father, Caesar Rodney, never got the same press as Paul Revere’s journey. New York Times, "After Centuries of Obscurity, Wilmington Is Having a Moment," 6 Dec. 2020 And so amid the national distress of the Civil War, Lincoln in 1861 became the founding father of the modern Thanksgiving. David M. Shribman, Los Angeles Times, "Giving thanks, expressing hope: presidential wishes at Thanksgiving," 25 Nov. 2020 Its inscription identifies him as a founding father of Tarpon Springs and a pioneer of the sponge industry. Paul Guzzo, orlandosentinel.com, "Teacher is adding Black cemeteries to history lessons," 14 Nov. 2020 Adam Smith is today known as the founding father of economics. Ryan P. Hanley, National Review, "Adam Smith’s Other Masterwork," 3 Dec. 2020 Shaver was considered a pioneer or founding father of outlaw country music, which was an antidote to the slick, Nashville productions of the 1960s in the same way that punk responded to the bloated, arena-rock excesses of the ’70s. Geoff Edgers, Washington Post, "Nobody wrote songs like Billy Joe Shaver," 29 Oct. 2020 The driving force for Serfilippi was to get to know and remember the people held in bondage by the founding father. David Kindy, Smithsonian Magazine, "New Research Suggests Alexander Hamilton Was a Slave Owner," 10 Nov. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of founding father

1886, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about founding father

Time Traveler for founding father

Time Traveler

The first known use of founding father was in 1886

See more words from the same year

Statistics for founding father

Last Updated

8 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Founding father.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/founding%20father. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for founding father

founding father

noun

English Language Learners Definition of founding father

: a person who helps to create or establish something : a person who founds something
: a man who had an important part in creating the government of the U.S. specifically : a member of the American Constitutional Convention of 1787

founding father

noun, often capitalized both Fs
found·​ing fa·​ther

Legal Definition of founding father

: a leading figure in the founding of the U.S. specifically : a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1787

More from Merriam-Webster on founding father

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for founding father

Comments on founding father

What made you want to look up founding father? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!