Definition of pater

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 \ ˈpä-​ˌter How to pronounce pater (audio) \ often capitalized : paternoster
2 \ ˈpā-​tər How to pronounce pater (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

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Examples of pater in a Sentence

Noun Pater had promised to pay for military school after third form.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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, "A disastrous night of hometown visits on ‘The Bachelor’," 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, "It’s all ‘Downhill’ with Will Ferrell, Julia Louis-Dreyfus remake of ‘Force Majeure’ (review)," 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, "The Cult Favorite: How Succession's Nicholas Braun Built the Myth of Cousin Greg," 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,, "Dining out on dad’s day? Here’s a guide to Father’s Day restaurant specials," 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, "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.

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First Known Use of pater


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for pater

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

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Cite this Entry

“Pater.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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