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god·​fa·​ther ˈgäd-ˌfä-t͟hər How to pronounce godfather (audio)
 also  ˈgȯd-
: a man who sponsors a person at baptism
: one having a relation to someone or something analogous to that of a male sponsor to his godchild: such as
: one that founds, supports, or inspires
made him the godfather of a whole generation of rebelsThe Times Literary Supplement (London)
: the leader of an organized crime syndicate


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godfathered; godfathering; godfathers

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
From the 1880s on, his ships carried so many Jewish immigrants fleeing violent Russian and Eastern European pogroms that he could be considered the unsung godfather of their descendants—my family among them. Diane Cole, WSJ, 17 Nov. 2023 Alonzo Williams, one of Wright’s earliest collaborators, is known as the godfather of West Coast hip-hop and now heads the Compton Entertainment Chamber of Commerce. Jonah Valdez, Los Angeles Times, 15 Nov. 2023 Eighteen years later, playing the beloved daughter of Al Pacino’s Michael, she is shot dead on the steps of the opera house in Palermo, taking a bullet meant for the belatedly penitent godfather, who now comprehends without any doubt that there is no escaping the sins of his or his relatives’ past. Andrew Marzoni, The New Republic, 3 Nov. 2023 The godfather of turntablism, the Edison of cutting, the leader of the Furious Five. Chris Kelly, Washington Post, 2 Nov. 2023 Blinken is godfather to one of Campbell’s daughters, and Campbell was a groomsman at Blinken’s wedding. Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post, 1 Nov. 2023 The French poet and playwright Jean Cocteau was his godfather. Clay Risen, New York Times, 25 Oct. 2023 Tom is the son of Tiggy Pettifer (née Legge-Bourke) who was Charles’ sons' nanny in the '90s, while William is the son of Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, former private secretary to Prince William and Prince George's godfather. Janine Henni, Peoplemag, 12 Oct. 2023 Thomas is a godfather to one of Leo’s daughters and keeps a drawing by Margaret in his chambers. Andy Kroll, ProPublica, 11 Oct. 2023
Murdoch’s political ally, godfather to one of Rupert’s young daughters with Deng – have to do with this? Kim Masters, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 July 2022 Even the beginning is a little iffy: Where does godfather Drosselmeyer come from? John Anderson, WSJ, 9 Dec. 2021 The sons also took Murdaugh’s advice to hire attorney Cory Fleming to be executor of their mother’s estate without telling them Fleming was a longtime friend, old college roommate and godfather to at least one of Murdaugh’s sons. Jeffrey Collins, chicagotribune.com, 14 Oct. 2021 Hawkins, godfather to Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, took teammates to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum whenever in Kansas City, decades before MLB officially recognized the leagues. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, 25 Jan. 2021 Now Leroy could be dad first and coach second, while Lewis could be coach first and godfather second. Matthew Futterman, New York Times, 5 Oct. 2020 Hosted by Sean, 44, the two-part documentary about his dad — who was tragically murdered outside his New York City apartment on Dec.8, 1980 — also features memories from his elder brother, Julian Lennon, and godfather Elton John. Phil Boucher, PEOPLE.com, 23 Sep. 2020 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, 25 Apr. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'godfather.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


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


1651, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near godfather

Cite this Entry

“Godfather.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/godfather. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


 also  ˈgȯd-
: a male sponsor at baptism
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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