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

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 Harry and William are both reportedly godfathers to Pettifer's own sons. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Who Are Archie Mountbatten-Windsor's Godparents?," 21 Jan. 2020 Bonham Carter herself has clearly become comfortable portraying a royal, enough to have recently relayed a hilarious story about having once drunkenly asked Prince William to be her child’s godfather. Emma Specter, Vogue, "Her Majesty Claire Foy Is Returning to The Crown for Season 4," 27 Nov. 2019 The accuser is Toby Darling (Andrew Burnap), a gay millennial writer; Forster, here called Morgan (Paul Hilton), the name used by his intimates, is present as a kind of spiritual godfather made flesh. Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, "“The Inheritance” Is a Tribute to E. M. Forster and an Audacious Work of Its Own," 25 Nov. 2019 Think: Mufasa poised on the ledge of a stone outcropping, with Rafiki the baboon godfather next to him hoisting little Simba aloft for all the elephants, giraffes, zebras, meerkats and warthogs below to admire. Greg Jefferson, ExpressNews.com, "Jefferson: Economic development — or a giveaway of tax dollars?," 7 Nov. 2019 Whitaker’s phenomenal as the out-of-touch godfather who’s playing catchup in a new world, and plays his character with a quiet yet haunting nuance that is this actor’s specialty. Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Godfather of Harlem’ features great acting, unusual depth — and a killer soundtrack," 28 Sep. 2019 Boozin' The godfather of craft beer in Milwaukee, Mike Romans, has been diagnosed with Stage 3 esophageal and upper stomach cancer. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Why the Bucks are in France, a new brewery and Milwaukee rappers with millions of views and few bookings," 22 Jan. 2020 The Sox then hired Cora, the godfather of modern sign-stealing. Dan Shaughnessy, BostonGlobe.com, "How can the Red Sox be so confident MLB’s investigation will end well for them?," 25 Jan. 2020 More: Mike Romans, Milwaukee's godfather of craft beer, faces cancer diagnosis with help from his friends Contact Kathy at (414) 224-2974 or kathy.flanigan@jrn.com. Kathy Flanigan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Champps will host a benefit for Mike Romans, Milwaukee's godfather of craft beer," 15 Jan. 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

22 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Godfather.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/godfather. Accessed 3 Apr. 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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