ˈpä-ˌter How to pronounce pater (audio) often capitalized : paternoster
ˈpā-tər How to pronounce pater (audio) [Latin] chiefly British : father

Examples of pater in a Sentence

Pater had promised to pay for military school after third form.
Recent Examples on the Web Unlike the more enthusiastic Hannah Ann, Madison seems to take her pater familias’ concerns to heart, coming away from the evening unsure how to proceed. Lisa Bonos, Washington Post, 18 Feb. 2020 Both movies deal with the wife and children’s reaction to their pater familias’ act of cowardice, as well as his failure to acknowledge it. Laura Demarco, cleveland, 10 Feb. 2020 There is something wonderful about watching Greg emotionally shrink in front of pater familias Logan Roy, while still physically towering over him. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, 14 Aug. 2019 Here’s a curated list of restaurants with different cuisines and price points (and a few take-home suggestions) for your pater-celebrater event. Rod Stafford Hagwood,, 7 June 2019 Yet critics maintain that the Packers have betrayed not only the country but also the pater familias of football: legendary Green Bay coach Vince Lombardi. Johnny Smith, Slate Magazine, 30 Sep. 2017 For example, the p sound frequently changes to f, and the t sound to th—suggesting that the Latin word pater is, well, the father of the English word father. Elizabeth Norton, WIRED, 7 May 2013 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pater.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pater was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near pater

Cite this Entry

“Pater.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Pa·​ter ˈpā-tər How to pronounce Pater (audio)
Walter Horatio 1839–1894 English essayist and critic
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!