Definition of pater

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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


biographical name
Pa·​ter | \ ˈpā-tər How to pronounce Pater (audio) \

Definition of Pater (Entry 2 of 2)

Walter Horatio 1839–1894 English essayist and critic

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Synonyms for pater

Synonyms: Noun

dad, daddy, father, old man, pa, papa (also poppa), pop, sire

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Examples of pater in a Sentence


Pater had promised to pay for military school after third form.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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, "The legendary Green Bay Packers coach disliked protests, but he was a champion for racial justice.," 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, "English May Have Retained Words From an Ice Age Language," 7 May 2013

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pater.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of pater


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Comments on pater

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


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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