grand·​fa·​ther | \ ˈgran(d)-ˌfä-t͟hər How to pronounce grandfather (audio) \

Definition of grandfather

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the father of one's father or mother


grandfathered; grandfathering; grandfathers

Definition of grandfather (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to permit to continue under a grandfather clause

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Other Words from grandfather


grandfatherly \ ˈgran(d)-​ˌfä-​t͟hər-​lē How to pronounce grandfatherly (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for grandfather

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of grandfather in a Sentence

Noun this tradition has been passed down from our pioneer grandfathers
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun His real name is James Jr., but he is nicknamed Tank because his grandfather was in the tank division for Gen. George S. Patton’s Third Army in World War II. Jon Blau, The Indianapolis Star, "Elite prospect, former USC recruit Tank Espalin commits to IU baseball," 29 June 2020 Her grandfather died earlier this month from COVID-19. Eric Stirgus, ajc, "Pressure on Georgia university system to require masks in classrooms," 27 June 2020 My grandfather was in a concentration camp and escaped. Kristine M. Kierzek, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Three Brothers restaurant's traditions, family love go even deeper than the 63 years it's been in business," 25 June 2020 His grandfather was a religious man and a member of New Union Baptist Church, Alcott said. Deborah Yetter, The Courier-Journal, "Logan County man dies at 106 after positive COVID-19 test limits final days with his family," 25 June 2020 But Alan Reese isn’t pushing for the bridge to be named after his grandfather. Shauna Stuart |, al, "Rename Edmund Pettus Bridge? Activists, politicians split: ‘It does not help history'," 24 June 2020 His grandfather and cousin were also shot but survived. USA Today, "These Black teens are turning 18 in Tamir Rice’s America," 22 June 2020 Maurice Wade learned to ride on his grandfather's farm. CBS News, "Preserving the traditions of black cowboys," 21 June 2020 The 2019 film follows a young black man who’s trying to reclaim his grandfather’s Victorian home in gentrifying San Francisco. Radhika Marya, Fortune, "What to watch this Juneteenth on Netflix, Amazon, and more," 19 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Cruz, whose father and grandfather each played for more than a decade in the major leagues, could play multiple positions with the Tigers. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers sign third- and fifth-round picks; Spencer Torkelson remains unsigned," 17 June 2020 The free service does not run ads and until late 2017 had used licensing deals with major labels that were grandfathered in when ByteDance acquired Billboard Staff, Billboard, "TikTok Owner ByteDance Plans New Streaming Service: Reports," 21 May 2019 The commission instead directed Idaho Power to conduct a cost-benefit analysis on the solar panel program while also voting to permanently grandfather in the 4,000 existing Idaho Power customers so that their rates will not change. USA TODAY, "$4 million dome home, owl surprise Christmas guest, cold sea turtles, red snapper: News from around our 50 states," 23 Dec. 2019 That enables the duchy to charge small ground rents to homeowners grandfathered into long leases, like Mr. Davis. Benjamin Mueller, New York Times, "Harry and Meghan’s Big Funding Source Is Private. Sort of.," 27 Jan. 2020 Any project that has qualified before the law expires will be grandfathered in. J.k. Dineen,, "SF housing developers’ secret weapon? Little-known state law to speed challenges," 15 Nov. 2019 Since council didn’t introduce the moratorium ordinance until July 23, Dollar General was grandfathered in, meaning the moratorium doesn’t apply in this case. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, "Dollar General opens Broadview Heights store as city establishes moratorium on “small box” retailers," 22 Oct. 2019 The legislature’s public health committee passed the bill Monday in a 14-11 vote but not before making a last-minute amendment that would grandfather in children who already have such an exemption. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Anti-vaxxers wage war in Conn., lawmaker calls vaccines “witches brew”," 26 Feb. 2020 And because a number of weapons were grandfathered in — and production was increased prior to the ban — there still were many such weapons legally owned, even after the ban. Michael K. Mcintyre,, "Most Americans want action on guns: What do we know about what works?," 11 Aug. 2019

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1953, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for grandfather

Time Traveler

The first known use of grandfather was in the 15th century

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Statistics for grandfather

Last Updated

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Grandfather.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for grandfather


How to pronounce grandfather (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of grandfather

: the father of your father or mother


grand·​fa·​ther | \ ˈgrand-ˌfä-t͟hər How to pronounce grandfather (audio) , ˈgran- \

Kids Definition of grandfather

1 : the father of someone's father or mother
2 : ancestor His grandfathers had all farmed the land.


transitive verb

Legal Definition of grandfather

: to permit to continue under a grandfather clause current residents will be grandfathered under the regulation often used with in

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Comments on grandfather

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