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

More specifically, on Clara being sent off on a journey to search for a key by her godfather, Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman, wearing a pirate’s eye patch). Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘The Nutcracker and the Four Realms’ Review: Empty Calories," 1 Nov. 2018 Paris Jackson wished her godfather, former child star Macaulay Culkin, a happy birthday with a sweet Instagram tribute over the weekend. Zoe Szathmary, Fox News, "Paris Jackson wishes godfather Macaulay Culkin a happy birthday with sweet throwback photos," 27 Aug. 2018 His brother, Thomas, is Princess Charlotte's godfather. Suzannah Weiss, Teen Vogue, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Are Reportedly Going to a Wedding on Her Birthday," 28 July 2018 Prince Harry, however, was not asked to be Louis' godfather. Emily Wang, Glamour, "Prince Harry Bought Prince Louis a $10,000 Christening Gift as a Tribute to Princess Diana," 9 July 2018 Stone is also a godfather to Davis’s son, and according to Stone, prosecutors are also interested in their personal relationship. Jen Kirby, Vox, "The former “Manhattan Madam” has met with Robert Mueller’s team," 4 Aug. 2018 He was made godfather to Philip’s son Prince Charles, and was a beloved figure in the young prince's life until he was killed by an IRA bomb in 1979. Marcia Moody, Town & Country, "The Tricky Relationship Between the Royal Family and Their In-laws," 29 July 2018 Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Stan Lee, the godfather of Marvel Comics’ most memorable characters and stories, died on Monday, November 12, People magazine has confirmed. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Stan Lee, the godfather of Marvel comics, dies at 95," 12 Nov. 2018 There was former mayor Marion Barry, go-go godfather Chuck Brown and NBC4 news anchor Jim Vance, all of whom have died in recent years. Anthony J. Rivera, Washington Post, "Living D.C. graffiti legend went from rowdy thug to art teacher," 28 June 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

12 Jan 2019

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on godfather

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with godfather

Spanish Central: Translation of godfather

Nglish: Translation of godfather for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about godfather

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).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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