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 Historian Robert Allison, who teaches at the Harvard Extension School and Suffolk University, will present a lecture in Marblehead about one of America’s founding fathers, Elbridge Gerry., "Most read on," 31 Oct. 2019 First founding father who became president, who never owned a slave. CBS News, "Time will tell: Historians on judging presidential leadership," 27 Oct. 2019 The founding fathers of economics—luminaries including Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and John Stuart Mill—shared a belief that growth was finite, and that the reason for limits lay in the natural world. Christopher F. Jones, The New Republic, "The Delusion and Danger of Infinite Economic Growth," 1 Oct. 2019 Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical about the American founding father, based very loosely on historian Ron Chernow's biography, is a smashing success. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Hamilton' Producer Fights Copyright Claims to Alexander Hamilton’s Life," 23 Sep. 2019 The founding fathers of College Corner, Ohio, and West College Corner, Ind., built the original schoolhouse in 1893 as a compromise, on land covering both states. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: One high school gym, two states, and the midcourt stripe has a secret," 3 July 2019 Further proof that the venerable N.Y.T. Is one of the founding fathers of the Patriarchy. Kathryn Lindsay,, "Madonna Skewers NYT Profile: "It Makes Me Feel Raped"," 7 June 2019 In 1943, Max Delbrück and Salvador Luria, two of the founding fathers of molecular biology, performed a landmark experiment designed to examine the nature of mutation. Quanta Magazine, "Under Pressure, Does Evolution Evolve?," 15 Jan. 2014 Stamler is a founding father of preventive cardiology, the field of study exploring how to reduce risk factors for heart disease. Hannah Natanson, Washington Post, "A trailblazing professor turns 100 next month. He’s still doing ‘incredibly complex’ research funded by the NIH.," 12 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for founding father

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The first known use of founding father was in 1886

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Last Updated

20 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Founding father.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 2019.

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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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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for founding father

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with founding father

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not agreeing with established beliefs

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