god·fa·ther | \ˈgäd-ˌfä-t͟hər also ˈgȯd- \

Definition of godfather 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a man who sponsors a person at baptism

2 : one having a relation to someone or something analogous to that of a male sponsor to his godchild: such as

a : one that founds, supports, or inspires made him the godfather of a whole generation of rebelsThe Times Literary Supplement (London)

b : the leader of an organized crime syndicate


godfathered; godfathering; godfathers

Definition of godfather (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to act as godfather to

Examples of godfather in a Sentence


Her uncle is her godfather. Many people regard him as the godfather of rock and roll.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The $400 million funding for the treatment facility was kick-started with a donation of $90 million from William’s godfather, the sixth Duke of Westminster, who initially came up with the idea for the project. Simon Perry, PEOPLE.com, "Prince William Just Revealed What Gave Him 'Street Cred' with Son Prince George," 21 June 2018 And then there’s Tyler Acosta’s godfather: Vladimir Guerrero, the former slugger who will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in July. Steve Reaven, chicagotribune.com, "Tyler Acosta, godson of Vladimir Guerrero, deciding between pro and college baseball," 19 June 2018 Harry isn’t godfather to his nephew, George, or his niece, Charlotte. Kate Storey, Town & Country, "Will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle be the New Royal Baby's Godparents?," 29 Mar. 2018 Chris Vaughn, Brents’ godfather and trainer, said U of L’s recent hiring of defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder helped the Cardinals get back in the picture with Brents. Jason Frakes And Jake Lourim, The Courier-Journal, "Waggener High School cornerback Jairus Brents signs with University of Louisville football," 7 Feb. 2018 Godin, who was playing for Uruguay on Friday, is also the godfather of Griezmann's daughter. Stephen Wade, chicagotribune.com, "France defeat Uruguay to reach World Cup semifinals," 6 July 2018 In fact Griezmann and Godin are so tight, the Uruguayan captain is the godfather of Griezmann’s daughter. Kevin Baxter, latimes.com, "French star Antoine Griezmann has his heart on both sides of quarterfinal match-up," 4 July 2018 Dantonio also is the godfather — as well as top boss now — to Treadwell’s oldest son, who is entering his second year on staff as a graduate assistant. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State assistants learning new roles, see program's evolution," 27 Mar. 2018 Her other cousin, Adam, is godfather to Princess Charlotte. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Aren't Prince Louis' Godparents—Here's Why," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The new generation of progressives in the city, godfathered by Garcia, and represented in the March elections by Alma Anaya, Aaron Ortiz, and Beatriz Frausto, is a force to be reckoned with within the party. Jacqueline Serrato, chicagotribune.com, "Garcia ally wants to move the Democratic party in a new direction," 25 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'godfather.' 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 godfather


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1651, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for godfather

The first known use of godfather was before the 12th century

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English Language Learners Definition of godfather

: a man who is a godparent

: a man who invents or begins something

: the leader of a group of criminals who belong to a secret criminal organization (such as the Mafia)


god·fa·ther | \ˈgäd-ˌfä-t͟hər \

Kids Definition of godfather

: a boy or man who is a sponsor for someone at baptism

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Comments on godfather

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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