pa·​pa | \ˈpä-pə, chiefly British pə-ˈpä\
variants: or less commonly \ˈpä-​pə \

Definition of papa 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: father


communications code word
Pa·​pa | \pə-ˈpä, ˈpä-pə\

Definition of Papa (Entry 2 of 2)

used as a code word for the letter p

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Synonyms for papa

Synonyms: Noun

dad, daddy, father, old man, pa, pater [chiefly British], pop, sire

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Examples of papa in a Sentence


a proud papa of newborn twins

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Buddy Bell stood in the back of the room, watching the scene as a proud papa. Joe Kay, The Seattle Times, "Family affair: Rebuilding Reds pick David Bell to lead them," 22 Oct. 2018 The Associated Press said the proud papa picked out the name Nandi from three that were placed on poles stuffed with hay. Fox News, "Name given to North Carolina's baby white rhino," 28 July 2018 Cubans on the Run: As the name suggests, this to-go restaurant serves a variety of Cuban sandwiches along with other Latin handhelds, such as empanadas, papa rellenas and arepas. Michael Candelaria,, "Casselberry Neighborhood Guide," 21 June 2018 Maryland staples such as coddies and crab cakes are still popular, but a big draw Tuesday were Latin American specialties like Peruvian papa rellena — potatoes stuffed with meat and then deep fried — or Mexican street corn called elote. Christina Tkacik,, "At Highlandtown carnival, respite for Baltimore's Latino community and concern about immigration policy," 20 June 2018 This was the players' coach, the proud papa, the self-aware ambassador all rolled into one. Ron Richmond For The Oregonian/oregonlive,, "Inside Luke Heimlich's senior season with the Oregon State baseball team," 8 June 2018 And my Aunt Bee has walked by that picture a thousand times, remarked that her father, my papa, had high cheek bones like all of the Indians do. Fox News, "Former Miss America on pageant dropping swimsuit competition," 6 June 2018 While Paris and her fiancé, Nicky and her husband and daughter and mama and papa Hilton were in attendance, some Hilton family members were notably absent. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Paris and Nicky Hilton Celebrated Their Brother's Wedding in St. Barts," 4 June 2018 Happy 7th big girl, your mamma, little brother, and papa love you around the moon 10 million times and back. Emily Wang, Allure, "Pink's 7-Year-Old Daughter Willow Hart Just Dyed Her Hair the Coolest Shade of Purple," 4 June 2018

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


1677, in the meaning defined above

Communications code word

1952, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for papa


French (baby talk)

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Statistics for papa

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for papa

The first known use of papa was in 1677

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More Definitions for papa



English Language Learners Definition of papa

: a person's father


pa·​pa | \ˈpä-pə \

Kids Definition of papa

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More from Merriam-Webster on papa

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with papa

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for papa

Spanish Central: Translation of papa

Nglish: Translation of papa for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of papa for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about papa

Comments on papa

What made you want to look up papa? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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