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 Marybeth dedicated the song to her late grandfather, and the powerful moment left many in tears. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Blake Shelton Made a Rare Comment About His Late Father on ‘The Voice'," 23 Nov. 2019 The first Globe was built in 1912 by Jose Urias, the great-great grandfather of Erwin Urias, one of the riders who brings the jaw-dropping element to the Chainsmokers' tour. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "How The Chainsmokers Folded the Wildest Circus Stunt Ever Into Their World War Joy Tour," 21 Nov. 2019 One of my grandfathers served in World War I, and the other served in World War II. David G. Armstrong, STAT, "Diabetic foot ulcers: a silent killer of veterans," 11 Nov. 2019 Shortly after, another family arrived, and the grandfather of another child removed the sweater, claiming the seats for members of his family who were also absent. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, "Dear Abby: This May-(late) December romance has girl’s parents in a tizzy," 2 Nov. 2019 Seven years later, British builder William Willett (the great-great grandfather of Coldplay frontman Chris Martin) independently hit on the idea while out horseback riding. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "Daylight saving time 2019: The odd history of changing our clocks," 1 Nov. 2019 But the grandfather of a visitor to the museum was among the men who dug out the road through Dinosaur Ridge. John Wenzel, The Know, "Ten pieces of Colfax Avenue history you can buy in Colfax Museum’s $150,000 fire sale," 24 Oct. 2019 Ben Jaffe, a fourth-generation musician whose great-grandfather played French horn in the Russian Imperial Army, had a front-row seat. Timothy O'grady, Condé Nast Traveler, "In New Orleans, Life Is at Full Blast," 14 Oct. 2019 One of the fatalities involving Amazon drivers was a 70-year-old Kansas grandfather on a Flex shift during the 2017 holiday rush. Patricia Callahan, ProPublica, "How Amazon Hooked America on Fast Delivery While Avoiding Responsibility for Crashes," 5 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The diving boat was one of 325 vessels built before 1996 that were grandfathered in, and therefore, not required to meet new regulations because doing so was found to be economically unfeasible and impractical, according to the Los Angeles Times. Fox News, "California dive boat in Labor Day fire was exempt from Coast Guard safety regulations: report," 26 Nov. 2019 City residents who own guns and accessories outlined in the bills would be grandfathered. Marcy Oster,, "Judge strikes down gun control laws passed by Pittsburgh City Council following synagogue shooting," 30 Oct. 2019 The story listed a series of legacy design details that have been repeatedly grandfathered into the latest model each time Boeing has updated the 737, which was originally certified more than 50 years ago. Author: Dominic Gates, Anchorage Daily News, "New questions raised on safety of both Boeing 737 Max and 787 Dreamliner," 8 Nov. 2019 Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and Dumbo had been grandfathered into our affections, not as mere products of the industrial-entertainment complex but as real companions. James Marcus, The New Yorker, "A Dark Ride," 29 Oct. 2019 Eisenberg previously noted the rezoning will only affect new development, and any existing facilities will be grandfathered in —however, some residents and attorneys representing them expressed concerns over the limits to future development. Mary Grace Keller,, "Residents request changes to county rezoning before commissioners vote, cite concerns for future development," 7 Oct. 2019 They were grandfathered into rules in place before passage of the Budget Act of 2015. Mark Miller, New York Times, "7 of Your Most Burning Questions on Social Security (With Answers)," 2 Aug. 2019 DeWine vetoed language added by the legislature that would have grandfathered in anyone born before Oct. 1, 2001. Laura Hancock,, "DeWine vetoes health care price ‘transparency’ items in budget: Capitol Letter," 19 July 2019 That number could increase if the 2014 draft class is grandfathered into the current CBA, allowing their rookie scale to grow, sources said. Tom Orsborn, San Antonio Express-News, "Anderson set to benefit in free agency on two fronts," 6 Feb. 2018

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

30 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Grandfather.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 9 December 2019.

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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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