god·​fa·​ther | \ ˈgäd-ˌfä-t͟hər How to pronounce godfather (audio) 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

Noun Her uncle is her godfather. Many people regard him as the godfather of rock and roll.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Leach, who has drawn interest from SEC schools before, including Tennessee a couple of times, is one of the godfathers of the modern passing game. Ralph D. Russo, Houston Chronicle, "Mississippi State hires Mike Leach away from Washington St," 9 Jan. 2020 Miles has become the skating godfather of San Francisco, starting the Church of 8 Wheels skating rink on Fillmore Street, organizing events and presiding over the Skatin’ Place. Peter Hartlaub, SFChronicle.com, "The legend of the Skate Patrol, guardians of Golden Gate Park," 11 July 2019 This is a hugely important movement in Silicon Valley and beyond, and these two are kind of the godfathers of it? Eric Johnson, Recode, "Making things is now a global movement. But is the U.S. making enough?," 27 Aug. 2018 For all his posturing, Sanders has been more of a hippie godfather than a protagonist in the great progressive struggle. Tobias Hoonhout, National Review, "Progressive Populism’s Dashed Hopes," 16 Apr. 2020 A week into Kevin’s quarantine, the children’s godfathers took Brandon and Eva for a weekend. Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times, "He survived a shooting at Trader Joe’s. Would coronavirus be his downfall?," 9 Apr. 2020 When it was created, Billy Chapman Jr.—the godfather of Mexican bass fishing—saw an opportunity. Joe Cermele, Field & Stream, "Is This Lake the Best New Bass Fishing Spot in Mexico?," 18 Mar. 2020 Mehling has been dubbed the godfather of American gypsy jazz. Ed Masley, azcentral, "Phoenix concerts in March: Post Malone, Celine Dion, Zac Brown, Rage Against the Machine," 2 Mar. 2020 Pelinka was Bryant's friend and former agent, and godfather to his daughter, Gianna, who died along with her dad and seven others in the January 26 crash in Calabasas. Eliott C. Mclaughlin, CNN, "Per Kobe Bryant's wishes, girl who lost relatives in crash to get internship, agent tells newspaper," 26 Feb. 2020 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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The first known use of godfather was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Godfather.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/godfather. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for godfather


How to pronounce godfather (audio)

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 How to pronounce godfather (audio) \

Kids Definition of godfather

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

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