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 grandfather (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 Three days later, the family patriarch, Randolph Murdaugh III — Paul's grandfather and Maggie's father-in-law — died at his residence at 81. Erik Ortiz, NBC News, 14 June 2021 Not only for her and her children living in Phoenix but for her grandfather and thousands of other elders living on the Navajo Nation, where grocery stores were already few and far between. azcentral, 5 June 2021 The sisters’ grandfather and grandmother also lived with them. Lauren Beale, Forbes, 1 June 2021 LeRoy Gibbs II and his wife, Tracy, purchased the center in 2015 — the property used to be the location of businesses run by LeRoy’s grandfather and grandmother, LeRoy and Ernestine Gibbs, who was a teenager during the massacre., 28 May 2021 Rios, her father, 44, stepmother, 36, grandmother, 59, grandfather 57 and great-grandmother, 82, were all vaccinated to help stop the spread of the coronavirus Thursday at the Brookside campus of the high school. Steve Sadin,, 6 May 2021 From a 14-year-old cadet who was hoping to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather and grand-uncle, to climbing the ranks to become a full-time New Haven firefighter at 23, Jonathan Gotaski can also add Canton volunteer fire chief to his resume. Jessika Harkay,, 30 Apr. 2021 Toledo lived with his mother, his ninety-year-old grandfather, and two siblings. Alex Kotlowitz, The New Yorker, 24 Apr. 2021 Within days so did her grandfather and great-grandmother, along with Bain and her teenage daughter. Taylor Kate Brown, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Founded by the Stockstill brothers’ grandfather Roy in 1963, the nondenominational Bethany Church grew from having Sunday services in the living room of the family home into one of the biggest megachurches in the country. NBC News, 18 May 2021 Proponents contend the legislation, which was amended in the House of Representatives to grandfather in any students with an existing religious exemption beginning with kindergarteners, is needed to prevent a potential outbreak. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 29 Apr. 2021 Blumenthal said a tax would be justified because regents placed an 18% cap on out-of-state undergraduate students in 2017 — but allowed UCLA, Berkeley, San Diego and Irvine to grandfather in their existing limits, which were as high as 24%. Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times, 8 Apr. 2021 The family’s imprint on the race begins with Dan Seavey, father to Mitch and grandfather to Dallas. Anchorage Daily News, 10 Mar. 2021 Everybody knows about his lineage — grandfather Archie with the New Orleans Saints and uncles Peyton and Eli as two-time Super Bowl winners. Christopher Dabe,, 19 Sep. 2020 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, 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, 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, 23 Dec. 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

21 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Grandfather.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for grandfather



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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