founding father


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

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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

End the day at Gadsby's Tavern, where some of our founding fathers used to drink, and don't mind the actors in colonial garb performing for you. Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Cities in the U.S.: 2018 Readers' Choice Awards," 9 Oct. 2018 Fact is, democracy has never been easy, and our founding fathers argued about everything. Libby Nelson, Vox, "Read the full transcript of Obama’s fiery anti-Trump speech," 7 Sep. 2018 This evening, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will attend a charity performance of Hamilton, Lin Manuel Miranda's musical about the founding fathers of the United States. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "How Prince Harry is Related to King George III in Hamilton," 29 Aug. 2018 Dormant and exposed Most Popular The grave sites date back to 1870, and include those of Tamina's founding fathers, such as Easley's grandfather, Romie Hollins Sr. Meagan Ellsworth, Houston Chronicle, "Tamina community hopes to save submerged Sweet Rest Cemetery," 21 Jan. 2018 Alexander Hamilton, a founding father and the first secretary of the treasury of the United States, died 214 years ago today from a gunshot wound. Erin B. Logan, Washington Post, "Alexander Hamilton, immigrant and statesman, dies at 47 — or 49," 12 July 2018 The two founding fathers and political adversaries died within five hours of each other. Caroline Simon, USA TODAY, "9 things you didn't know about the Fourth of July," 3 July 2018 This is a dilemma that often hits the young hardest: how, for example, to grapple with the complicated legacy of Thomas Jefferson, founding father and slave owner. Richard Aldous, WSJ, "‘Conservativism’ Review: Holding On to the Good Things," 14 June 2018 George Washington’s role as a founding father and first president is rightly honored. Barbara K. Bodine, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘War on Peace,’ by Ronan Farrow," 17 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of founding father

1886, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for founding father

The first known use of founding father was in 1886

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More Definitions for founding father

founding father


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

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